Serving Scottsdale and surrounding area since 2009


Owning a vacation home is a wonderful luxury, providing a perfect getaway spot whenever you need a break. However, ensuring it stays in top condition during your absence requires some thoughtful preparation. Likewise, living in a very hot desert climate demands special attention when you plan to be away for an extended period. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you close up your vacation home and secure your desert residence before you leave.

Closing Up Your Vacation Home

  • Clean Thoroughly
    • Kitchen: Empty the refrigerator and freezer of anything besides condiments, etc. Clean all appliances, and dispose of any perishables.
    • Bedrooms and Bathrooms: Wash all linens and towels, and store them in sealed containers. Clean bathrooms thoroughly to avoid mold and mildew.
    • Living Areas: Dust all surfaces, vacuum, and mop floors. Cover furniture with dust sheets to protect them.
    • If you have a lot of wood and antiques in your home. Leave 4-5 5 gallon buckets of water around the home to add moisture to the air so your wood doesn’t dry out.
  • Pest Control
    • Remove any potential food sources and ensure trash bins are empty.
    • Set traps or consider professional pest control services.
    • Seal any cracks or openings that might invite pests inside.
  • Utilities and Appliances
    • Turn off and unplug all electrical appliances.
    • Shut off the water supply to prevent leaks and potential water damage.
    • Set your thermostat to a temperature that protects your home from extreme temperatures but doesn’t waste energy (typically around 55°F in winter and 85°F in summer).
  • Security Measures
    • Ensure all doors and windows are locked securely.
    • Consider installing a security system. Motion lights are also a good deterrent.
    • Cancel your newspaper subscription
    • Inform neighbors and your homewatch team (Carlson Concierge 😊) of your absence so they can check your property on a regular basis.
  • Outdoor Preparations
    • Store outdoor furniture and equipment in a secure place.
    • Ensure the lawn and garden are taken care of, by confirming your regular maintenance. Also consider having an irrigation specialist out to run through your system to make sure it’s functioning as it should be.
    • Clean gutters and downspouts to prevent blockages.
    • Have your roof blown off

Leaving Your Home in the Very Hot Desert

  • HVAC System Care
    • Have your air conditioning system serviced before you leave to ensure it runs efficiently.
    • Set your thermostat to a higher temperature to save energy while still protecting your home and any sensitive items from extreme heat. Wall paper hangers recommend no warmer than 82.
    • Consider using programmable thermostats that you can control remotely.
  • Water System Precautions
    • Turn off the main water supply to prevent leaks.
    • If you have a pool, ensure it’s properly maintained. Make sure your home watch professional (Carlson Concierge) has your list of service providers so they can communicate directly with them if they notice an issue of concern.
  • Sun Protection
    • Close all blinds and curtains to protect your interior from sun damage and keep the home cooler.
    • Make sure all outdoor cushions have been taken off furniture and put them inside an airconditioned spot.
  • Check for Heat Damage Risks
    • Inspect the home for any signs of potential heat damage, such as cracks in walls or foundations.
    • Ensure that roofing materials and seals around windows and doors are in good condition.
  • Outdoor Maintenance
    • Ensure your landscaping is designed to withstand heat, using drought-resistant plants and materials.
  • Prepare for Emergencies
    • Make sure you have a homewatch professional (Carlson Concierge) doing regular homewatch visits. Make sure they are told any dates that you would not be able to be reached in a timely manner.

By following these steps, you can leave your vacation home and desert residence with peace of mind, knowing that they are well-prepared to withstand your absence and the extreme weather conditions. Safe travels!  Call Carlson Concierge to get regular inspections of your home scheduled during any duration of absence.