Winterizing Your Second Home During Snowbird Season
Owning a second home, be it a rental property or a cozy vacation retreat, is a dream for many. As we enter snowbird season, it’s essential to take steps to protect your investment from harsh weather conditions. Winterizing your second home is crucial to ensure its longevity and maintain its value. Read on to explore some expert-recommended tips to safeguard your property from the elements.
Insulate and Seal
Proper insulation is your first line of defense against cold temperatures during the snowbird season. Inspect your second home for gaps and drafts, especially around windows and doors. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), sealing gaps and adding insulation can save you up to 20% on your heating bill.
Maintain Heating Systems
Before the snowbird season begins, it’s vital to have your heating system inspected and maintained. If you use propane or fuel oil to heat your home, be sure your tanks are filled. A malfunctioning furnace can lead to costly repairs and potential damage to your property. Consider having a professional HVAC technician inspect your heating system regularly to catch minor issues before they become costly repairs.
Drain Water Systems
According to the Insurance Information Institute, water damage is the most common insurance claim, accounting for one out of every five claims filed with insurers. To prevent burst pipes and water damage during the snowbird season, drain the water supply lines in your second home before leaving it unattended for the winter. This includes interior and exterior water sources, such as faucets and irrigation systems. You can also pour some RV anti-freeze into your sinks, toilets, and traps to prevent trapped water from freezing.
Invest in a Smart Thermostat
A smart or programmable thermostat allows you to control your second home’s temperature remotely during the snowbird season. By setting a lower temperature when you’re away and increasing it before your arrival, you can save on energy costs while ensuring your property stays at a safe temperature. Smart thermostats that have earned the ENERGY STAR label are certified to deliver energy savings.
Keep Your Fridge Door Ajar
Keep the door slightly open to protect your appliances from microbial growth if you plan to turn off your fridge or freezer while away. Leaving the door ajar also allows air to flow inside and around your fridge or freezer, preventing the buildup of stale and musty odors.
Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Cleaning the gutters and downspouts is crucial during the snowbird season to prevent ice dams, which can cause water to seep into your home. This routine maintenance task can also help extend the life of your roof.
Remove Dead or Overhanging Tree Branches
Heavy snow and ice can cause trees and branches to fall, potentially damaging your property during snowbird season. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advises regular tree maintenance to reduce the risk of property damage during severe weather. FEMA also recommends that your home be at least a full-grown tree’s height (about 40 feet) away from the base of any tree.
Secure Outdoor Furniture
To protect your outdoor furniture and prevent potential damage to your second home during the snowbird season, be sure to store or secure it properly for the winter. High winds and heavy snow can wreak havoc on outdoor furnishings.
Embrace Snowbird Season with Confidence
Winterizing your second home during the snowbird season is an investment in its long-term health and your peace of mind. So, whether you’re looking to save on energy bills, prevent water damage, or simply maintain your property’s value, these steps are essential for the winter months ahead. Take action now to safeguard your second home and enjoy a worry-free snowbird season.
call goettl for peace of mind
Knock a few of these tasks off your to-do list with expert help from Goettl. For professional HVAC and plumbing services that will keep your second home in top shape all year round, contact Goettl. Their team of experts can provide the necessary care and attention your heating, cooling, and plumbing systems need to withstand the snowbird season. Your home deserves the best care, and Goettl is here to deliver it.