While Flagstaff is a four-season destination, if you’re not a winter sports enthusiast, it’s possible you might be leaving your home vacant till warmer weather rolls around. If that’s the case, here are some quick tips to minimize the possibility of cold-weather problems during an extended absence.
- Prepare your pipes. Water is the most obvious culprit for wintertime issues. So, the first step is to shut off the main to the home—but that’s just the start. After shutting off the electricity or pilot light to the water heater, drain all of the water from the system using the lowest possible faucet. (Then you’ll want to drain the water heater, too.) Compressed air can help blow any remaining water out of the pipes, and pouring a bit of RV antifreeze into the traps of toilets, sinks, tubs and showers offers an extra measure of protection. Don’t forget to disconnect and drain pools, spas, and garden hoses too.
- Keep the heat on low. If possible, having the heat come on at 55 degrees will help protect your home from problems during a deep freeze.
- Empty out. Anything perishable should go home with you or in the trash. If you unplug the fridge, block the doors open so that it’ll dry out and not get musty.
- Critter-proof. Seal up crawl spaces and garage gaps, and make sure fireplace vents are shut. Wildlife is best enjoyed when it’s out in nature!
- Unplug and shut off. Many modern appliances draw electricity even when they’re off. Save yourself on your power bill by unplugging anything that’s not necessary. For safety’s sake, ensure that all pilot lights for gas stoves and fireplaces are shut off.
- Store up. Do a final walkthrough of your yard and deck, and make sure that all of your outdoor furniture and other gear has been locked away safely inside.
- Ask a full-timer for help. Not everyone leaves Flagstaff during the winter – and Pine Canyon prides itself on neighborly camaraderie! Having someone occasionally check on your place can help catch small problems before they become major ones.
Committing a little bit of extra time to button up your home now can save you from maintenance headaches the next time you come to enjoy it. For a truly worry-free, lock-and-leave lifestyle, the village of condominiums in Pine Canyon’s Mountain Vista neighborhood offers the perfect solution. During your absence, a team of professionals will manage and maintain your home – so when you’re ready for your next high-country adventure, everything will be just as you left it.