Should we turn the water off when we leave?
Yes, we recommend it. If you have a pool, we still suggest that you turn the water off to the house. During the summer months, the pool will fill itself with rain water. In the spring and fall when we have less rain, we can add water in the pool while doing your inspection. It is also a good idea to show your pool professional where the shutoff is so that they can also fill the pool when they are there. In addition, you might investigate having a bypass or auto fill valve installed in your pool. This gets tied into the main water line before the house shut off and will provide water to your pool year round.
What do we do with the hot water heater?
Turn it off at the breaker and/or unplug it. Do not drain it. When we do your inspections, we will turn the water on and run it throughout the property which will flush the hot water tank. This also allows us to see if there are any leaks coming from the tank itself.
Where do we set our A/C temperature and Humidistat?
This is a very difficult question because every home is different. The most common starting point is 80 degrees with 60% humidity. We understand that keeping your electric bill low when you are not there is a concern. However, this may not be the best or safest setting for your home. About 75 % of homes are kept at this setting during the summer months. In the fall, winter and spring, with these settings, you’re a/c may never run due to cooler temperatures thus allowing potentially very moist humid air to build up in your home which can cause mold growth. Most turn dial humidistats are just an on/off switch to allow the air conditioner to run. You have to meet the 60% humidity setting before the a/c will turn on. We recommend 78-80 degrees with 50-55% humidity.
If you do not have a humidistat, we strongly suggest 78 degrees.
Do we unplug everything in the house?
We recommend unplugging anything of major value. We shut off at the electrical panel the Washer/Dryer, Range, Microwave, Dishwasher and Disposal. This will isolate them from any surges caused by lighting.
Should we put in a whole house surge protector?
It is recommended but not necessary. If you are going to do this, we suggest having one installed by a trained electrician. The upfront cost is high but it will save you money in the long run from having to replace any valuable electronics by protecting your whole house from surges. You can also have the power company come out and install one for a monthly fee. Please check on cost of both before doing anything and this does not guarantee that your electronic devices will be protected from a lightening strike.
Should we purchase a portable Dehumidifier?
It depends completely on you, your home and how much you want to spend on your electric costs each month. If your home already has a built in dehumidifier, then it is likely that you do not need one. However, depending on your homes layout, there can be areas in the home that could potentially have higher humidity at certain times of the season. But again, it still may not be necessary.
Should we empty the refrigerator and turn it off?
YES, ALL perishables should be removed so as to prevent rotting food in the event of an electrical outage, which are frequent in Florida. The manufactures of the refrigerators suggest leaving it running all of the time and leaving some liquids inside to fill the volume of space. It is also a great storage place for any dry goods that might attract ants.
What about our Car?
We highly recommend using a trickle charger/Battery Tender to maintain the charge on your battery. We also recommend starting the car every visit and suggest using the large buckets of Damp-Rid to help control humidity.