We recommend using a caretaker to look after your home while you are not here! Nothing beats having a set of "local eyes" looking after your home. It is the least expensive form of insurance for your home that you can buy.
Caretakers perform a variety of tasks like going by your home monthly and flushing your toilets and running water in all of your sinks and tubs to make sure that they don't dry out and your home fill with sewer smell.
They will also run your washer and dishwasher to make sure the seals don't dry out.
They will also go by after a storm to make sure that all is well. If a shingle has blown off, they will have it repaired. Nothing like showing up six months later to find that a window has been left open or broken and that the rain has been pouring in.