The Villages Voice - May 2011

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Maintenance Tips from Home Warranty

by Dennis Stradinger

Maintenance Tips for Home Warranty Manager Dennis Stradinger

With Easter behind us and Florida Summer temperatures ahead of us many of us are looking forward to going up north for the summer or at least an extended vacation away from Florida’s friendliest Hometown.  There are many things to keep in mind to help keep your home safe and help reduce your expenses in an unoccupied home.  Anytime you leave your home for a period of time the following things should be taken into consideration. 

Shut off the main water line to your home, but leave your irrigation system on.  While your grass will still need water while you are out of town, shutting off water to your home may prevent any serious damage from an unattended leak. 

Turn your gas water heater setting to vacation or for electric water heaters turn off the circuit breaker to your hot water heater, as well as your oven/range, washer and dryer.  Unplug small appliances like television sets and radios.  Appliances and small electronics will use small amounts of electricity even when not in use.  This should help reduce your utility bills. 

Set your thermostat to 82° during cooling season.  It is important that you run your HVAC system during this period.  Your system removes the humidity from your home and this helps keep your homes air quality safe and protects items in the home from being affected by the excess humidity. 

Discard any open food containers and clean out any perishables from your refrigerator or freezer.   There is nothing worse than returning to a home that may have lost power due to a storm or other reason and dealing with lost items in the refrigerator. 

Arrange for complete lawn and landscape care by a reliable lawn maintenance contractor.

Go to the Community Watch office located at 3130 Glenview Road to notify them of the dates you will be leaving and returning. Their phone number is 753-0550.  Discuss with them options available to Village homeowners  or visit their website at

Develop a “buddy system” with a neighbor or friend, and have them inspect your home and lawn periodically, or hire a business that specializes in this.   Ask them to check a few basic things during their inspection: Are the doors locked and windows secure?  Do they see any insect or ant infiltration?  Is the freezer/refrigerator operating?  Is the heat or air conditioning working?  Run the water in sinks and showers so traps do not dry up and expose the home to sewer gas smells.  The Villages Hometown Property Management can be reached at 750-1595 if you would like to review their Empty Nest Program. 

Remember if you need help with finding qualified contractors to help with any construction related issues, please feel free to contact The Villages Warranty office at 753-6222, or contact us through an e-mail request accessible on  home page.  We are always happy to provide this type of information to our homeowners. 

I look forward to visiting with you again.