These tips originated from our own Bud Kemperman who faithfully contributed his ideas during his residence in Harbour Towne. Others have added their ideas. To add yours, please contact the Website Manager.
Winter Tips for Everybody
- Turn water supply valve off for any absences over 3 days.
- Remove and drain garden hoses, make sure hose faucets are turned off.
- Remove food from refrigerator/freezer units in the garage. (As the temperature in the refrigerator drops to about 40 degrees, the compressor stops running and the freezer temperature rises to match the refrigerator.)
- Monitor humidistat setting and decrease the percentage of moisture as it gets colder to eliminate window fogging.
- Remove and store window and door screens in the fall. Clean and reinstall in the spring.
- Use a stiff push broom, ice scraper, shovel, and squeegee to clean garage floor of water, ice, and snow.
- Use a 5-gallon bucket (with lid) to store rock salt. Use a coffee can to scoop and shake on walkways and porch.
HVAC & Safety Tips
- Replace 4-inch wide furnace filters annually or 60-90 days for 1-inch style.
- Have furnace, A/C and water heater inspected annually.
- Replace humidifier pads annually. Disinfect every 30 days with dish soap and bleach to discourage bacteria and mold.
- Check humidifier water-supply valve to make sure it’s fully open.
- Test smoke detectors and replace back-up batteries every other year (or when they beep!). Check and replace smoke detectors at manufacturer’s recommended interval (7 years for some).
- Install carbon monoxide (CO) detectors – one in each bedroom.
Winter Tips for Snowbirds Planning Extended Absences
- Turn main water supply valve off for any absences over 3 days.
- Highly recommended – install a Smart Thermostat (such as Honeywell, NEST, etc.) to monitor and report the unit’s temperature to any remote location, usually via the internet to a smart phone.
- Open all faucets including garage and patio hose faucets in order to drain water to lowest level. Leave interior faucets open, close hose faucets.
- Flush all toilets to drain tank(s).
- Put 2 to 4 cups of RV antifreeze (-50°F rating) in each shower, tub and sink drain (1 quart in toilet bowls) to protect “P-traps”. Close sink drains.
- For absences over 3 to 4 months, have someone occasionally pour a little (a cup or so) of RV antifreeze in drains and toilets to compensate for evaporation in order to avoid sewer gas that may back up. (Option – cover drains/toilet bowls with high quality plastic wrap such as Saran Wrap or similar product.)
- Set thermostat at 55 degrees. Make sure all heat registers are open.
- Set water heater to “Vacation” setting (or lower temperature).
- Open doors to cabinets under sinks so warm air can circulate around plumbing.
- Notify TV/Internet service providers to qualify for lower vacation rates.
- Cancel all delivered newspapers.
- Dispose of perishables from pantry, refrigerator, and freezers.
- Alert your immediate neighbors that you’ll be gone so they can inform you of any uninvited visitors.
- Notify the Management Company of emergency contacts while you’re away.
- Update your mailing address with the Management Company and the Post Office.
- Make arrangements so your mail and ad papers don’t pile up in your mail box.