Florida Snowbirds – welcome back to the sunshine state! Wherever you chose to spend your summer, we hope you enjoyed it, and we’re glad you are back! Now that you’ve flown south for the winter, it’s time to make sure your winter home is ready for you.
Reopening Your Florida Home or Vacation Rental Property
Whether your Florida home is used as your primary residence or a vacation rental, when you left Florida in the spring, you almost certainly went through many steps to winterize your home and prepare for it to be vacant for a while. Now, it’s time to do it in reverse!
Here are some things you can do to make sure your house is ready for occupancy again.
Plug In Appliances
Before you left, you should have gone through your home and unplugged anything that wouldn’t be in use. Now that you’ll be inhabiting the space again, you’ll want your appliances running. Plug in your appliances and devices, and remember to test them!
If you unplugged all your major appliances like your refrigerator, washer, and dryer, or dishwasher, this is a great time to give them an extra deep clean. It’s a good idea to deep clean and sanitize washing machines and refrigerators at least once per year anyway, so this is a great time to build it into your routine.
Turn Water On
You likely had your water shut off while you were gone since you didn’t need running water in your home while you weren’t there for an extended period of time, but you certainly need it now. Turn all valves back on and test to ensure your water pipes are functioning correctly throughout the house. Run some hot water to ensure your water heater is working at full capacity, too.
Now is also a great time to inspect your sink and shower drain to ensure they didn’t get clogged up by debris while they weren’t being used.
Check on Your HVAC System
You may not have experienced the heat of the summer, but your house certainly did. Your air conditioner should have been running throughout the months you were gone, which means it’s time to check on your HVAC system. Clean or replace filters to ensure your system is doing its best.
And even though we get some pretty excellent winter weather here in Florida, freezing temperatures aren’t unheard of, so make sure your furnace works properly before you need it.
Did you stop cable, phone, or newspaper service while you were gone? Time to get those started again! Don’t forget about trash service, too. It’s important to maintain adequate sanitation practices for your house, so consider getting your trash and recycling service set up before leaving your summer residence. By the time you get back here to Florida, you’ll have access to all the home services you need.
Check Smoke Detectors and CO Detector Batteries
You should have replaced the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms back in the spring, but they’ve been operating all summer without you. These detectors are vital for the safety of anyone in your home, so be sure to test the batteries and replace them if needed.
Notify All The Important People
Did you let the local police department know your property would be vacant when you left for the summer? Make sure to let them know you’re back. Who was watching your home while you were away? Be sure to check in with them; tell them you’ve returned, and ask any questions you have about what happened while you were away.
Other Things to Remember
In addition to the important things listed above, here’s a checklist of some other things you may want to do when you return home:
- Take a quick walk around the exterior of your property to make sure everything looks good and that no damage has been done from summer storms. Inspect the siding, the roof, and other exterior surfaces for damage. If you see anything that looks amiss, be sure to contact your insurance agent and ask about your home insurance coverage options.
- If you use any smart home technology, ensure your alarm systems are working correctly and set them to your “home” schedule. Keeping your alarm system active is crucial to protect yourself and your property from theft.
- Check batteries in your motion-sensitive exterior lights or other battery-powered security devices you may use to prevent theft.
- Dust off that outdoor furniture and get your patio set back up. One of the best things about Florida is our year-round patio weather!
- Give the interior of your home a good deep clean. It’s a great time to get that yearly deep clean done before surfaces are cluttered with life’s everyday essentials. Consider hiring a cleaning company to come in and do the deep clean just before you arrive back home.
Make This Your Best Florida Winter Yet
Now that your home is officially opened consider how you can improve your Florida home. Though winter in Florida is undoubtedly better than winter in New England, fluctuating temperatures (highs are still in the 80s on some days and lows in the 40s on others) still mean you’ll be asking a lot of your heating and cooling system. If your home isn’t efficient, this will mean high energy costs. Take some extra mitigation measures to ensure that your home is energy-efficient so you can enjoy the next few months.
Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Products and Save Money!
One of the simplest ways to save on heating and cooling costs is to replace energy-sucking systems in your home. Are you still using incandescent light bulbs? Make the switch to LED bulbs! Smart power strips are a great way to stop devices from draining energy when not in use. Want to take it a step further? A programmable thermostat allows you to control the temperature in your home from your smart phone, even when you’re not there. You’ll spend less money on heating and cooling.
Seal Air Leaks
Whether you’re running the air conditioner during a hot Florida day or running the heat on a cool night, the air in your home should be at the temperature that you want it. But if you have leaks in your walls, windows, or doors, that perfect air is escaping. That means your HVAC system has to work harder to keep up, and you’re wasting money. So seal up those leaks! If you like to do things yourself, caulking cracks around your windows and doors is a great weekend project. If not, professional air sealing might be your best option.
Update Your Insulation
Insulation is a vital part of any house, and proper insulation is crucial to your health, too. It is the barrier between your home and the outside world, so it pays to have highly-rated insulation. And when it comes to insulation, spray foam insulation is the best there is. Spray foam insulation forms an airtight seal, which helps to stop air leaks. It is also resistant to moisture, which prevents mold and mildew, especially in the humid Florida climate. A mold problem in your home can really do damage to your respiratory health. A properly insulated home is more energy-efficient, too!
You can make this your best Florida winter yet by protecting your home and making it comfortable for the winter with high-rated spray foam insulation. At Energy Monster, we’re happy to provide additional guidance on how best to save money with proper home maintenance and energy-efficient solutions.
We want to make sure your home is in its best shape when you reopen it for the winter season, and our company considers energy efficiency as a top priority! Schedule a free spray foam consultation from Energy Monster now, and one of our employees will be in touch. Contact us at (855) 928-8123 or stop by and visit us in person at our main office in Largo, Florida, today!