The Florida Snowbird Home Checklist
When you’re a snowbird, you’ve got a lifestyle of comfort, the mild summers of the north and the warmth of a southern winter. But you also have a little more home maintenance as you prepare for each seasonal switch. Use the Air Care Systems Inc. guide for Florida snowbird home comfort and safety. We help with everything HVAC from maintenance to air conditioning installation in Titusville, FL.
As you get ready to leave your northern home, take a few weeks to:
- Move outdoor furniture into the garage.
- Wrap outdoor faucets to protect them from freezing.
- Clean the gutters so snow can melt freely from your roof.
- Shut off the water to the house to prevent pipe bursts. Drain the pipes or have a plumber do this for you.
- Get your HVAC serviced by a local company for seasonal maintenance. Change the filter so your furnace will perform well while you’re gone.
- Close your fireplace.
- Turn your heat down to 55 degrees to maximize energy savings while preventing pipe damage and freezing walls.
- Turn off your water heater.
- Keep doors open. Cupboards, closets, and room doors should be open to keep air circulating.
- Call to have all utilities except for your heat and power turned off. See if you can pause services like cable and internet to avoid shut off penalties.
- Keep the door to your dishwasher and washing machine open to prevent mold growth.
- Unplug TVs, microwaves, and large appliances to save on energy and prevent damage from power surges.
- Forward your mail or have a trusted neighbor collect it for you.
When you arrive at your southern home:
- Call to get seasonal HVAC maintenance to make sure your AC is reliable, free of mold, and not prone to any problems.
- Replace its filter from before you left to maximize airflow and filtration. Change it each month while you stay in Florida since you will use your AC often.
- Test your AC and add a new battery to the thermostat if needed.
- Turn on your water.
- Do light cleaning, wipe down counters that may have collected some dust in your absence and wash linens to make bedrooms smell fresh.
- Let your neighbors or property association know of your arrival.
- Plug in the appliances you unplugged before you left.
- Check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms.
After you’ve made sure everything’s up and running, you’re free to start enjoying your time and connecting with other snowbird friends.
When it’s time to go back north, prepare your southern home for departure.
- Find someone to check on the house a few times per month. A home monitoring service can help for a small fee.
- Move in patio furniture so that hurricanes and storms can’t damage them.
- Hire a landscaper to maintain your outdoor landscaping both to be a good neighbor and also so it isn’t obvious when you leave.
- Prepare your HVAC system for hot Florida weather by turning your thermostat to 85 degrees. This will prevent mold growth in your system but keep utility costs low.
- Change your air filter before you leave and consider another HVAC maintenance call to make sure your unit is in good shape for the hot summer ahead.
- Close blinds to prevent sun damage and deter curious eyes.