You may be going out of town for the holidays, but as experience has probably taught you: You can put miles between yourself and your home, but it is never far from your thoughts.

Missing your home is one thing, but you don’t have to worry about it if you take some precautions before you leave. And if you haven’t already, be sure to program one important phone number into your cell phone: 904-241-1788.

This is the number of Charlie’s Tropic Heating & Air Conditioning, which you can count on to address any emergency, should one arise in your absence. For good measure, leave our phone number with a trusted neighbor, too.

Mitigate the chance of having to call us at all by running down this checklist before you leave for your out-of-town trip:

  • Schedule your annual fall HVAC tuneup with Charlie’s, if you haven’t already. This one step will imbue you with untold peace of mind that your HVAC system is in good working order and won’t suffer a breakdown in your absence.
  • Replace the filter. Even if you changed the filter last month and it looks reasonably clean, change it anyway. Charlie’s believes you cannot put a price on your peace of mind while you’re away from home.
  • Set your thermostat to between 50 and 55 degrees. Set the fan to “on” or “run” to keep the air flow going. When you open the door upon your return, you’ll be glad you did.
  • Shut off the main water valve to prevent flooding.
  • Close your chimney flue and damper.
  • Turn your water heater to the “vacation” or “pilot” setting so that you’re not heating water you don’t need.
  • Unplug all of your appliances, except for the refrigerator, to protect against surges in the event of a violent storm while you’re away.
  • Lock all your doors and windows and insert a sturdy pole in the track of all sliding doors.
  • Unplug your garage door opener so that no one can enter your home through the garage door or an adjoining door.
  • Close all your window treatments, on all floors.
  • Install timers on several lamps on both the upper and lower levels of your home to give the impression that someone is still there.