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ImpldConsent
Under Siege
Premium
join:2001-03-04
Mcdonough, GA
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·magicjack.com

What to leave on - empty house

We're leaving our house for an extended time (she's going up north with family/friends ... I'm going on my 5th combat tour) and I do not know what to leave on. We live in the south, so we have humidity to deal with. We have a pool as well. My guesses are:

* Run both ACs, set to - 85F?
* Run furnaces, set to - 55F?
* Keep gas on
* Kill all circuit breakers except above
* Turn off water at the street

That's all I can think of. The pool is currently closed for the winter with a heavy duty cover (think elephant cover thing). Not sure if I should just leave it as is until we come back or not. I might have the pool company come out and assist.

Anyone with experience on this - I've never left a house empty before. Can y'all assist? What am I missing? (yes, the security piece is covered)
--
That's "MISTER" Kafir to you.



mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3



Well first off, thank you for serving our country.

On the AC, I'd think 85 is a little high. Maybe closer to 80? I don't think you'll get effective de-humidification at that higher temp setting.

I assume your freezer/refrigerator is empty?

Otherwise it looks OK. I'm sure there are other things that will be mentioned here though.



jrs8084
Premium
join:2002-03-02
Statesville, NC
kudos:1
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
reply to ImpldConsent

You didn't mention how it was heated, but make sure the water heater is off (killing circuit may have you covered)

If you have a water cutoff inside the house-turn the water off so a neighbor doesn't turn the water on at the street and use your spigots.



pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to ImpldConsent

I would not turn off all the CBs in the house except Ac and heat.

Someone may need to get in a look around for you to check things out so lights would be nice for that person.

Do you have a sump pump? Make sure that is on. Also any attic fans should be left turned on at the breaker.

Security lights? Alarm system? they need power.

Water heater OFF?

Yes, turn off water supply to house.

Open faucets and drain pipes as best you can so if furnace fails pipes will not burst. However the chances of the inside pipes of a house in Ga freezing is slim to none.

Add RV antifreeze to toilets bowls to keep them from freezing. Do this after you flush water from tank.

Stop garbage collection if that is billed separately from taxes.

Most important: God bless and be safe.
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.



jack b
Gone Fishing
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-08
Cape Cod
kudos:1
reply to ImpldConsent

Along the security front, you should install lamp timers in different rooms and set them for random cycles.

You will need for someone to go into the house frequently and make sure no "squatters" have taken up residence. Those can be especially difficult to eliminate once established, and more costly and time consuming than any rodent infestation ever was.
--
~Help Find a Cure for Cancer~
~Proud Member of Team Discovery ~



ImpldConsent
Under Siege
Premium
join:2001-03-04
Mcdonough, GA
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·magicjack.com

said by mattmag:

...I'd think 85 is a little high.
I assume your freezer/refrigerator is empty.p

Yea, I was thinking a bit high too, so, 80 it will be. Yessir, we'll have the refrigerators and freezer empty and unplugged.

said by jrs8084:

You didn't mention how it was heated, but make sure the water heater is off (killing circuit may have you covered)
If you have a water cutoff inside the house-turn the water off so a neighbor doesn't turn the water on at the street and use your spigots.

Tankless that uses a bit of electricity to ignite the gas. I wouldn't see any reason to keep that thing on. Good idea on the water cutoff in the house... didn't think about that. TY

said by pende_tim:

...lights would be nice for that person.
Do you have a sump pump? Make sure that is on.
Also any attic fans should be left turned on at the breaker.
Security lights? Alarm system? they need power.
Water heater OFF?
Yes, turn off water supply to house.
Open faucets and drain pipes as best you can...
Add RV antifreeze to toilets bowls to keep them from freezing. Do this after you flush water from tank.
Stop garbage collection if that is billed separately from taxes.

Check, check and check. I didn't think about the sump pump, so that will stay on ... well, heck, now that you've brought all those points up, I guess the CBs will stay on. TY

said by jack b:

...install lamp timers in different rooms and set them for random cycles.
...make sure no "squatters" have taken up residence.

I've re-evaluated my circuit breaker stance and the lamp timers will help as well. Squatters ... yea, I've read about them. That would be a nightmare for them if either I or my neighbors find them in my house. TY.
--
That's "MISTER" Kafir to you.


Pacrat
Old and Cranky
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-10
Cortland, OH
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Around here, the local cops will give the house a quick check everyday if you ask nicely. Seriously, it's a service they advertise on their web site. They don't enter the property, but will check to see if all the outside doors are secured and locked. Also, make sure to stop all mail at the post office and any and all newspaper deliveries if you subscribe. If you know your neighbors fairly well, it wouldn't hurt to ask them to kinda keep an eye out for you, too. You may also have to arrange for someone to cut the grass if you're going to be gone that long.
--
Keep your eye on the ball, your shoulder to the wheel, your nose to the grindstone, and your ear to the ground. Now, try to work in that position!!!


spud

join:2007-03-24
Constantine, MI
reply to ImpldConsent

A setback thermostat at 90 with
AC operation from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. set low enough 74
to operate continually during the 2-hour period
see closing your house

»lake.ifas.ufl.edu/family_and_con···_000.pdf



Monkey344

@pacbell.net
reply to ImpldConsent

the water in your p.traps for sinks and tubs will eventually evaporate. Therefore you may want to get some of those rubber plugs. Else the sewer gases might come up and leave you with unpleasant odors.



pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 edit
reply to ImpldConsent

You did not say what type of heat you had but did indicate that it was at a different temp than the AC os I am assuming it may be a different system.

Is it baseboard hot water? If so you need to keep the water on for that as it may need a little water for makup. There my be a little loss through any air eliminator valves and the like. This does not happen a lot, and a perfect system will never need added water but nothing is perfect. You don't want your furnace to go dry.

Keeping a certain summertime maximum temp is not that important, the important thing is maintaining a reasonable relative humidity in the house. Setting the thermostat to, lets say, 85* will result in a certain relative humidity during the summer. There are some thermostats that can be set to a temperature setpoint and a maximum humidity. They will override the temperature setting, to a userdefined limit, and lower the temp to remove moisture to satisfy the RH setting you have selected.

Along the lines of A/C: has you unit been serviced lately, coils cleaned, wires tightened, refrigerant charge verified etc? At the least, the return air filters should be changed.

Tim
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.



rfhar
The World Sport, Played In Every Country
Premium
join:2001-03-26
Buicktown,Mi
reply to ImpldConsent

I have a timer in the living room that I set to be on when I am home when I use the lamp. In the last house I used the time rand never bothered the switch.



Snakeoil
Ignore Button. The coward's feature.
Premium
join:2000-08-05
Mentor, OH
kudos:1
reply to ImpldConsent

Would there be an issue with something that has a pilot light,
If the pilot light were to go out?

Just thinking about the furnace and the chance that the pilot may go out.
As gas lines have been know to break when it gets cold outside and the ground shifts. Meaning gas service was cut off to your area, then restored.

--
Is a person a failure for doing nothing? Or is he a failure for trying, and not succeeding at what he is attempting to do? What did you fail at today?.


id09542

join:2002-04-25
Bloomington, IL

2 recommendations

reply to ImpldConsent

If you do unplug the refrigerator/freezer, be sure to leave the doors open.



LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to Monkey344

said by Monkey344 :

the water in your p.traps for sinks and tubs will eventually evaporate. Therefore you may want to get some of those rubber plugs. Else the sewer gases might come up and leave you with unpleasant odors.

Good call - also, pouring a little mineral oil (not vegetable or animal-based oils, they'll go rancid) down the drains will help prevent the trap drying out... Doesn't have to be much, less then 1/4 cup per drain should be lots.

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
reply to ImpldConsent

Prop open the doors to the fridge/freezer. Otherwise it'll be nasty when you get back.

May want to consider doing the same for the dishwasher too.


itguy05

join:2005-06-17
Carlisle, PA
reply to ImpldConsent

Thank you for your service!!!

Why bother with the A/C? There were houses long before we had A/C and they did fine. If you are really concerned, I'd imagine a dehumidifier draining to a sink would use a lot less electricity than an A/C.

Other than the advice of having someone checking on it and timers to make it look like someone is home. As well as a motion sensing fixture would be a good idea.



exocet_cm
Free at last, free at last
Premium
join:2003-03-23
New Orleans, LA
kudos:3
reply to Pacrat

said by Pacrat:

Around here, the local cops will give the house a quick check everyday if you ask nicely. Seriously, it's a service they advertise on their web site. They don't enter the property, but will check to see if all the outside doors are secured and locked. Also, make sure to stop all mail at the post office and any and all newspaper deliveries if you subscribe. If you know your neighbors fairly well, it wouldn't hurt to ask them to kinda keep an eye out for you, too. You may also have to arrange for someone to cut the grass if you're going to be gone that long.

We'll do that too here in New Orleans. We actually ask that residents advise our district stations when they will be gone for extended periods of time so our patrol officers can check the residence.

@ ImpldConsent See Profile, thanks for your service man. Stay safe brother.
--
"All newspaper editorial writers ever do is come down from the hills after the battle is over and shoot the wounded." - Bruce Anderson
"I have often regretted my speech, never my silence." - Xenocrates


workablob

join:2004-06-09
Houston, TX
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to ImpldConsent

AC at 80
Turn off Gas if present
Turn off toilets
Heck, turn off water at the street to be safe.

PS. I truly appreciate your service to our country.

Take care of yourself over there friend.

Dave
--
I may have been born yesterday. But it wasn't at night.



sempergoofy
Premium
join:2001-07-06
Smyrna, GA
Reviews:
·AT&T Southeast
reply to ImpldConsent

Given that you appear to be down in McDonough, a security system might be worth leaving on to help thwart copper thieves. If your home does not have copper piping, I wonder if posting a small sign on the doors saying "no copper pipes" might convince copper thieves to move along since the only thing there would be the wiring. Nah. That would imply ability to read and make informed decisions.
--
nohup rm -fr /&



Warzau
Premium
join:2000-10-26
Naperville, IL
kudos:1
reply to ImpldConsent

Also I didn't see this mentioned, but check with your local PD and see if they do vacation watch.



Voxxjin
Made of Hamburger
Premium
join:2010-01-13
Dupont, WA
reply to ImpldConsent

I think everyone covered most of the items. I am just gonna ask if you already have someone to mow the grass, rake leaves and such to keep the outside appearance up.
--
Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war



ImpldConsent
Under Siege
Premium
join:2001-03-04
Mcdonough, GA
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·magicjack.com

* PD - Check (neighbor is PD ... neighborhood is fairly safe ... they have a house-watch program as well)
* Furnace - is gas - electric ignition - is 55F good? Warmer?
* AC - yes, I'm concerned about humidity, so I want to stick with that. I'll check my TStats. They're new Trane systems (8months old) and I haven't read all the features/functions.
* Fridge/Freezer - Check on open doors
* Toilets - Check

I've got a great list going on. I appreciate the experience. This is the first time we'll be leaving our 'baby' alone. Scares the $#!+ outa me, but my wife being with family/friends on this last ride is healthy for her. TY'all ( --not bad for a Colorado/Georgia transplant eh?).
--
That's "MISTER" Kafir to you.



jrs8084
Premium
join:2002-03-02
Statesville, NC
kudos:1
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
reply to ImpldConsent

I see you have uVerse-don't forget to sever the telco lines if you can.

I know several people who have beach homes-most leave general circuits on like I think you have decided to do (for night lights/timers.) They simply unplug all the nonessentials/cut breakers for the same.

Thank you, and good luck. The Kudzu, red clay, and collards will be waiting on you



KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

2 edits

1 recommendation

reply to ImpldConsent

Do you have someone who can house sit or at least check on your house regularly?

Here's a tip and it's a biggie. Most people are unaware of this, as I was. Regular home owners insurance often is void if a home isn't occupied or lived in for an extended period. 30 days is a common time-frame. Leave the house unoccupied and find out the hard way if something happens to the home---- the coverage is void or severely curtailed and they won't cover damages or losses.

You may need Vacancy insurance. Do you have an alarm system and someone you trust with the code and willing to have the alarm company notify them if there is a problem?

»www.insure.com/home-insurance/ho···ish.html

--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini



norbert26
Premium
join:2010-08-10
Warwick, RI
reply to ImpldConsent

i was going to say leave fridge and freezer doors open but have been beaten to it. In addition to leaving them open put a box of baking soda on each side (fridge and freezer compartments). The fridge is something you can cut by the breaker if on its own circuit so you wont have to pull it out to unplug it. Maybe leave a box of baking soda in dish washer too. All important if your wife is to be back before you show her where and how to turn everything back on. Maybe write down a check list of everything you did that needs to be turned back on. If leaving land line service on forward all calls to a cell phone such as one your wife will have with her. leave an emergency contact number to your wife or something in case a storm hits and damage like the roof or something needs emergency repair. Set electric bill up on automatic payments with a credit card or something. Same with any other bills that must be maintained.


kdouglas10
Premium
join:2002-10-04
Jacksonville, FL
reply to ImpldConsent

Remember to leave the washing machine open - especially if a front loader as mold and mildew love to grow during disuse. Some front loaders leave a quart or two of water in the tub. Best to let it evaporate.

BTW - had a plumber install a heavy duty water cutoff in my garage. 2" inlet pipe and cost was only $138. Great peace of mind during any absence as street valve never fully closes.

Stay safe, God Bless You and Yours.

Thank You for Serving!



pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to ImpldConsent

Do you have separate heat and AC systems? Reason I ask is I am wondering how you will setup the 80/55* split between heating and cooling if it is on one system? Is there an automatic heat/cool function in the thermostat settings?

If it is a new Trane the thermostat probably has humidity control built into it. This function may not be enabled however, try calling your HVAC installer and ask them.

55* may be a reasonable number, but 50* would work also. The big thing is to keep pipes from freezing.
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.



marti
Color outside the lines
Premium,MVM
join:2001-12-14
Houston, TX
kudos:5

Thank you for your service.

Unplug TV's and etc.

Have someone check your house, inside and out at least once per week. Have a neighbor check the front door daily to remove junk flyers and have same neighbor check the mail box for mail (subs often leave mail when mail is held or forwarded).

Put jewelry and important papers in a safe deposit box at your bank. Have backups of your computers stored in a safe location or in a cloud service.
--
Team Discovery



Warzau
Premium
join:2000-10-26
Naperville, IL
kudos:1
reply to ImpldConsent

BTW Thanks for your service!!



ImpldConsent
Under Siege
Premium
join:2001-03-04
Mcdonough, GA
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·magicjack.com

2 recommendations

reply to ImpldConsent

Great info on insurance, I'd never thought about that. I'll call USAA here shortly. My AC is 2 x zoned-central split AC/Furnace (gas, electric ignition). The TStats control both heating and air, so, if it gets to 55F-, it kicks on the heat ... 80F+, it kicks on the AC. Just before we close up, we'll have the systems serviced. I'll ask our AC folks the best way to set it up. This Trane systems are amazing - cut our budget-billing from 550 to 190/mth. We've talked to the elect company and they recommend going direct-usage billing based on the "lack" of consumption and the current "credit" that our account is enjoying.

Uverse - check
House sitter/checker - check
Insurance - check(ing)
Baking soda/fridge - check
Washing machine - check

Truly, from the bottom of our hearts -- TY. We've done the deployments, but never leaving the house. This is why I paid for BBR/DSLR - what a great community.
--
That's "MISTER" Kafir to you.