Tips for those who are away for extended periods
Water damage is a major concern, and main water valves should be shut. Open all water faucets to relieve pressure in the lines.
To minimize damage caused by mold and mildew, air conditioners should be set at 70 degrees with the humidistat at 55 per cent. Be sure the control remains on the “Cool” setting. Ensure that condensate drain line is clear. Clean or replace the air filter.
Unplug all electrical devices, including TVs, telephones, lamps, etc.
Leave spreads off beds. Open the sleeper couch, stand up pillows, keep closet doors, cabinet doors and furniture drawers ajar for air to circulate.
If you have an intrusion alarm, do not disconnect your phone service. Make sure the smoke detector batteries are in good condition.
Keep appliance doors (freezer, refrigerator, dishwasher, dryer, etc) open.
Remove all movable objects from porches and patios.
Close drapes and blinds.
Stop newspaper delivery and don’t forget to notify post office for mail forwarding.
If you have storm shutters, put them in place, unless your association does not allow them to be in place if a storm is not approaching.
It is important to have a “house sitter” who can check on the unit on a regular basis while you are away. The sitter should check to make sure that there is water in the toilets. If not, the main water valve should be opened and the toilets flushed. Water can also be allowed to run in all the fixtures to fill the drain traps, after which, water should be secured as described in the first paragraph above.
The house sitter should have your phone number where you can be reached in case of an emergency. It’s a good idea to call the house sitter from time to time as a reminder.
Basically these are the reasonable precautions a homeowner should take before vacating a unit for an extended period of time. Some associations may have additional rules or suggestions.