Avoid a nasty sur­prise at your cot­tage next spring

Northumberland Today - - HOMES -

Cot­tage sea­son is com­ing to an end, but there are a few things you can do when clos­ing up your cot­tage this fall to avoid an­i­mal in­fes­ta­tions and make it eas­ier to open next year. Here’s a handy check­list:

If you are leav­ing the elec­tric­ity on at your cot­tage:

• Go room to room and un­plug any un­nec­es­sary elec­tri­cal de­vices. Con­sider turn­ing off the power sup­ply to ma­jor ap­pli­ances or space heaters at the main panel.

• Re­mem­ber to change the bat­ter­ies if us­ing a dig­i­tal ther­mo­stat to con­trol your elec­tric fur­nace or base­board heaters. If your bat­ter­ies are dead, power out­ages and restora­tions can re­set the ther­mo­stat to a set­ting of 20 to 22⁰C. It is likely this set­ting is much higher than your cho­sen set­ting and will re­sult in an un­ex­pected high bill.

If you are turn­ing off the elec­tric­ity at your cot­tage:

• Go room to room to turn off and un­plug all elec­tri­cal de­vices be­fore flip­ping the main power switch.

• Drain the plumb­ing sys­tem to pre­vent pipes from freez­ing and burst­ing.

• Drain your wa­ter tank. Just re­mem­ber to turn off the power sup­ply to the wa­ter heater first to avoid dam­ag­ing the heat­ing el­e­ment.

• Leave the door to the re­frig­er­a­tor ajar to avoid a foul smell in the spring. Re­move all food from the re­frig­er­a­tor and cup­boards.

• En­sure all win­dows are closed and the fire­place damper is shut tightly to pre­vent an­i­mals from get­ting inside dur­ing the win­ter.

• Store ex­ten­sion cords in ro­dent-proof con­tain­ers. Check all cords for dam­age be­fore us­ing them again in the spring.

• Take photos of each room and out­side the cot­tage just in case there’s dam­age dur­ing the win­ter and you need to file a claim with your in­sur­ance com­pany. Find more in­for­ma­tion at www.hy­droone.com.

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