Brenda & Luis Carus, Century 21 Zwygart Real Estate

Vacant home in winter? Check those batteries.

posted by: bcarus in Home Owners

Tip time

Vacant homes can lead to all sorts of interesting things to keep track of. Did you remember to take out that last bag of kitchen trash before leaving? Did any little visitors find their way in? Did you let the water run for a while after turning it back on? Are all the windows closed and did you lock that side door?

A vacant home in winter is a greater challenge. Of course, you have to find someone to clear the snow off the driveway and watch the roof for any ice dams. Remember to set the temperature at 55 degrees. Let a sink drip a little if there is a major cold snap. Take steps to winterize the septic system. Sometimes, it’s the littlest things that slip our minds, though.Vacant home in winter? Check those batteries.

Like batteries.

Many of us are good by now at remembering to change our smoke detector batteries twice a year when we change the clocks. Those aren’t the batteries I’m talking about. Not the carbon monoxide detector batteries either. No, there are another set of a batteries that doesn’t have a public service reminder campaign.

Do you have an electric thermostat in your home? By now, even people with older homes have updated the thermostat from the old mechanical dials to modern, programmable thermostats. They are great for keeping the temperatures where we need when we need, saving us money all winter by adjusting the temperatures to have our homes cozy when we’ll be there and cooler when we won’t. They do run on batteries, though.

If those batteries are depleted and the thermostat stops working in an occupied home, homeowners catch it very quickly and put in fresh ones. In a vacant home? It could be days or weeks before you the home owner returns. A vacant home in winter can go from the 55 degree level to burst pipes in a matter of a day or two.

We’ve talked about freeze alarms before, but the simple things are important too. Change those thermostat batteries.

Do you have any other tips for a vacant home in winter?


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