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Snowbird in reverse - leaving thermostat on cool or off?


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We're making our annual northbound trip in a few days and leaving our small home in Phoenix.
In years past, we've emptied the fridge, saran-wrapped the toilets, sealed the drain traps  and turned off the air before departure.
About the only damage were some melted candles one year.
But is this an okay process?
Does anyone else leave a home behind in the desert heat and what do you do about cooling it while gone?

 

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Everyone has a different perspective on this, I'm sure. When we're gone from our FL home, we leave the A/C on, but set it at a higher temp. The most important point of that is to dehumidify the home to limit the formation of mold and mildew. Plus, there are many things at home which we feel would deteriorate under excess heat and humidity. This way, everything stays as we left it. Jay

Edited by Jaydrvr
Grammar
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As you know, Phoenix gets well over 110 degrees for a substantial number of the summer days.  The inside of an RV exposed to full sun is likely to hit 130 or more.  That is tough on plastic and rubber parts especially.  My car batteries never made it through 2 full summers so you can expect a strain on your batteries.  At the very minimum I would pay for covered storage.  A/C would be too expensive to run, but if you can swing an electrical hook up you could keep vents open and run a fan.

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The park we are in has quite a few park models in it and a large number have been vacated by people heading north, and no one leaves an A/C running while gone.  There is no humidity problem here, actually a lack of humidity is the norm.  We are several days away from leaving and right now, the humidity outside is 7%, but has been closer to 4% earlier today.  Staying in an RV can be done, but I think the question was regarding a conventional home.

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I would leave the ac set @ 80-85 degrees.  The interior will thank u for that.  Do u have anyone @ the park who can periodically check for u occasionally?  Extreme heat/cold is not good for dwelling interiors.

 

 

 

Edited by jc2
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Rich and Sylvia, we look after a fifth wheel and a park model here in Yuma for some friends. Everything turned off, water, electric, drain water heater. Put several five gallon buckets on the floor with about 3/4 full of water and they have a about a 2" hole cut in the lids. The buckets sit in drain pans. Put water in the bowl of the pottie and seal across it with Saran Wrap. If a residential pottie also make sure there is water in the tank and Saran Wrap that also. Put zip lock bags full of water over the kitchen and vanity sink drains. Close all vents. windows etc. Good to go! Being you haven't had a problem with the way you have been doing it just repeat. You know, use the KISS theory. We will be leaving our fiver here for the first time for the summe as we bought a smaller unit to travel with in the summer. We of course be using this blueprint. Everything will be fine next October when we get back.

Edited by bobsallyh
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7 hours ago, 2gypsies said:

This article is talking about people who are gone from their homes for a few hours a day, not months at a time.

We used to live in Glendale, AZ (and in Quartzsite).  When we left for the summer, we'd do what bobsallyh described plus cleaned out the refrigerator and propped the doors open.  Canned goods, or any other food stuff that might not survive the heat went with us.

There were a couple of years where we left our fifth wheel in AZ while we traveled in a truck camper.  We did the exact same thing to the fifth wheel as described above plus we put Reflectix in the windows and put bottle jacks several places on the frame in case the tires lost air.  Oh, and we also put the water and sewer hoses away.

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31 minutes ago, 2gypsies said:

The first sentence states 8 hr. or on vacation.

But on vacation usually means one or two weeks and one typically doesn't clean out the refrigerator for that period of time.  Refrigerators need a limited temperature range within which to work, hence everyone who leaves for MONTHS turns off and cleans out fridge.   

The question of whether to leave a/c on while gone for months at a time varies with different people.  We don't leave ours on, but have friends who do.  Depends upon a lot of factors.

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18 hours ago, Jaydrvr said:

Everyone has a different perspective on this, I'm sure. When we're gone from our FL home, we leave the A/C on, but set it at a higher temp. The most important point of that is to dehumidify the home to limit the formation of mold and mildew. Plus, there are many things at home which we feel would deteriorate under excess great and humidity. This way, everything stays as we left it. Jay

Same thing with us when we resided in FLAUSA.

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On 5/2/2021 at 4:53 PM, Jaydrvr said:

Everyone has a different perspective on this, I'm sure. When we're gone from our FL home, we leave the A/C on, but set it at a higher temp. The most important point of that is to dehumidify the home to limit the formation of mold and mildew. Plus, there are many things at home which we feel would deteriorate under excess great and humidity. This way, everything stays as we left it. Jay

In Phoenix, you have the opposite problem.  You want to add some humidity to the interior to keep the heat from drying out and cracking wood trim, etc. 

Edited by Lou Schneider
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1 hour ago, Lou Schneider said:

In Phoenix, you have the opposite problem.  You want to add some humidity to the interior to keep the heat from drying out and cracking wood trim, etc. 

Or just stay away from AZ. My son and his new wife moved there maybe 15 years ago and I was introduced to the blistering August heat. It was 118° when we moved them in. We finally convinced them to move to FL. Yeah, it gets hot and muggy, but never the kind of heat AZ has. Jay

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40 minutes ago, Jaydrvr said:

Or just stay away from AZ. My son and his new wife moved there maybe 15 years ago and I was introduced to the blistering August heat. It was 118° when we moved them in. We finally convinced them to move to FL. Yeah, it gets hot and muggy, but never the kind of heat AZ has. Jay

Those of us coming from mosquito country prefer bug fee Arizona. :)

Linda

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16 minutes ago, sandsys said:

Those of us coming from mosquito country prefer bug fee Arizona. :)

Linda

I'm not a fan of mosquitos OR excess heat, but the worst mosquitos I've ever encountered were on a trip to Lynn Lake, Manitoba in 1994. The Texan with us joked about skinning them and grilling them. They were huge in size and quantity. We were truly glad to be away from there, but it was a memorable trip. Jay

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