Flee the winter for the Sunshine state? Between 700,000 and 800,000 people did it in 2017, according to the Canadian Snowbirds Association.
Florida is popular, but many other states are too. Vanessa Pépin, former Sinopé Technologies employee who now lives in Arizona, has been noticing the phenomenon in the past several weeks. ‘‘Where I work, we see tons of Canadians from the Rockies since the beginning of winter. For them, Arizona is their south. It’s here that they enjoy sun and heat’’, she says.
Leaving your home for 6 months does require a great deal of preparation. And since it’s an annual migration, the installation of permanent devices to facilitate the control of your home remotely may be the best solution there is.
To all snowbirds: here are our recommendations to save energy and protect your home while you are away.
During extended periods of absence, it is recommended to ask a trustworthy person to visit once in a while to water the plants and make sure everything is okay. Smart door locks that you can unlock from afar or share and change the code remotely can be useful in these situations. You can then ask more than one person to look over your home.
Leaving a single light on for several days does mislead anyone – it’s easy to see that nobody is home. Instead, you should consider smart light switches that you can control remotely. Sinopé’s devices, for instance, are adapted for this kind of need as they really simulate a presence. When the away mode is on, the switches automatically turn on and off randomly between sunset and midnight thus giving the impression that the house is inhabited.
If you don’t usually shut off the water before leaving (to allow watering plants, for instance), you should have a water damage protection system installed. Select one that automatically shuts off the main water inlet as soon as water is sensed by one of the detectors. Make sure that you can receive SMS or text message alerts to be aware if an unusual situation happens, and that the system also works in the event of a power or Internet failure to ensure the right protection at all times. The Sedna system offers all these features, and there are no use charges or monthly fees. It’s an excellent alternative to systems that are linked to residential surveillance.
It goes without saying that if you’re away for several months, you shouldn’t have an expensive electricity bill. How can you reduce your energy consumption? That’s easy.
Equip your home with smart thermostats to have full control of your heating. You will then be able to set the temperature remotely, and you will also receive e-mail alerts if something’s wrong and the house is either too cold or too warm. Stay connected with your home will prevent damage and other bad surprises.
Besides, you can install an electrical load controller on your water heater to turn it off entirely during your absence, so it doesn’t take energy at all. The day before you return, you can even turn it back on so the water reaches the right temperature, with everything working correctly upon your arrival.
Of course, these tips apply to your second home, no matter where it is located. Keep an eye out for your estates will bring peace of mind and could get you savings towards your insurance company. Make sure to let them know before flying (or driving) south!