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Old 01-26-2011, 09:23 PM
 
14 posts, read 46,213 times
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This summer will be the first time we have ever closed up a home in AZ for a couple months and was wondering what everyone does for precautions with the summer heat. I know some say they leave their air con on and set at a high temp. Some fill their toilet stools and drains with olive oil or anti freeze for pest control. Some say not to close your kitchen and bathroom drain plugs and then some say yes you should. I have just heard of a few suggestions and am hoping to hear back from some snow birds that do this on a regular basis. We will be new to the area and dont yet know the neighbors but am hoping to meet one that would keep an eye on the place. Are there companies that hire out to vacant home owners to do this sort of thing? If not, I think I have come upon a new business adventure!!! LOL I would appreciate any suggestions you may all have. Thanks
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:13 AM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
42,574 posts, read 56,740,833 times
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When we leave for any significant time we do the following.
Stop the newspapers...Stop the burglers.
Change mail address... Pay the bills.
Shut off water heater... Saves electricity.
Shut off water to indoor plumbing... Keep from flooding house if pipe/valve break.
Up the air conditioner 5 degrees... Keeps house from drying out and warping things.
Tell a friend/relative... Let someone know where to contact you.
Set the alarm... Keep the burglers away.
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Old 01-27-2011, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Kingman
81 posts, read 252,936 times
Reputation: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitram View Post
When we leave for any significant time we do the following.
Stop the newspapers...Stop the burglers.
Change mail address... Pay the bills.
Shut off water heater... Saves electricity.
Shut off water to indoor plumbing... Keep from flooding house if pipe/valve break.
Up the air conditioner 5 degrees... Keeps house from drying out and warping things.
Tell a friend/relative... Let someone know where to contact you.
Set the alarm... Keep the burglers away.

Sounds good..I would also put out some 5 gallon buckets of water to help keep things from drying out. Also make sure your blinds are shut or the windows are all covered. It's amazing how much heat comes in from just those decorative half moon windows!
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Old 01-27-2011, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
36,646 posts, read 46,899,773 times
Reputation: 25354
We leave for 6 weeks in summer. Turn off water. Turn off water heater. Set the thermostat to 90. And go. Of course stop the mail and paper. I have a pool and it gets full of leaves and stuff but I can clean it up pretty fast when I get back. The salt schlorinator keeps it from getting green and it has auto water level.

One thing that is going to be a problem for you is junk in the driveway. Someone is always dropping a paper in the drive or putting a flyer on the door. I am friends with the neighbors and they pick all that up and keep an eye on the place and other friends have our key and come in to check on things from time to time.

There are many services in our area that do that too. I don't know how one goes about finding one other than word of mouth. Neighborhood paper? Internet?
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Old 01-27-2011, 02:38 PM
 
886 posts, read 944,818 times
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Does anyone stop utilities when you are vacant for long periods (like four to six months)?

I have an electric bill separate from the sewer/water/garbage pickup (Lake Havasu).

The electric bill minimum is fairly low when no one is there so Ill probably just pay it year around (no electricity is used when Im not there - completely shut off). But the sewer/water/garbage pickup monthly bill is considerable even with no water used. I need to look into the costs of doing this but Im thinking about shutting down the sewer/water/garbage for maybe 6 months a year..

Ill have to compare the "disconnect/re-connect" charges to the monthly bill but it would seem this is fairly common thing for the utility company to deal with??
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
42,574 posts, read 56,740,833 times
Reputation: 120590
One other thing I forgot to mention. We set up lamps, on timers, with CFL lamps that turn on and off at different times in several rooms so to make it look like someone is home at night.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Southern Arizona
9,540 posts, read 29,707,705 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitram View Post
One other thing I forgot to mention. We set up lamps, on timers, with CFL lamps that turn on and off at different times in several rooms so to make it look like someone is home at night.
Excellent advice, Nitram.

Also, a small radio on a timer is another option.
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Old 01-28-2011, 06:00 AM
 
Location: Prescott Valley, AZ
3,063 posts, read 6,146,982 times
Reputation: 2434
I would fill the sinks and tubs with water. It helps put moisture into the home.
If you leave your AC on it will just dry everything out as removing moisture from the air is what one of it's function is. I would not leave it on.
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Camphost in Durand, IL
245 posts, read 664,988 times
Reputation: 193
There is a device called Fake TV burglar deterrent. It is a small box of LEDs that simulates the flashing of a TV inside a room. Seems like a great idea to me.

I don't have one myself but the reviews at Amazon are positive.
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Old 01-29-2011, 08:36 PM
 
2,879 posts, read 7,444,103 times
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I left for three months starting 8-31. It got no hotter than 85.6F. That was in a Townhouse, so I was surrounded by cooling, with a northern exposure. It was 30 to get the power back on, so I saved a nominal amount of money on that, but did pull the plug completely on Cox. Insurance and some condo security.........
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