To winterize a vacation home, visually inspect the property, and make repairs if necessary. Prevent water damage or burst pipes by turning the water off to the home. Turn the faucets to the on position to drain the water lines, and allow the faucets to remain in the on position over winter. To further protect the home, consider installing temperature-controlling or water-sensing systems. Remove food, and clean food storage areas with a disinfectant.
Clean appliances, including the microwave and oven, to remove food crumbs, and disconnect the water and power sources connected to the washer and dryer. Allow the refrigerator and freezer door to remain slightly ajar to prevent odors and other issues.
Winterize the hot water heater by draining it and turning the gas line to the off position, or set the water heater to vacation mode if the setting is available. If the water heater is electric, turn the breaker that controls the hot water heater to the off position before draining it.
Unplug small appliances, such as toaster ovens and televisions, and update your home inventory if necessary. Place valuables in a secure location, and set the alarm before leaving the home for the season. Provide a nearby neighbor with your contact number in the event of an emergency.