With the summer months on the way, vacation days are, too. When you leave your home, it is easy to switch your AC unit off and lock the door behind you without a second glance. Unfortunately, this carefree approach has the potential to backfire, as it is almost always better to run the AC while you are gone, rather than turn it off completely.
Dangers of Leaving the AC Off
Your air conditioner continually removes moisture from the air in your home. Therefore, with your AC unit switched off, your windows and other interior surfaces will often develop a layer of condensation. The trapped moisture quickly results in mold and mildew growth.
Without the cooling system running, temperatures inside your home will match or exceed the high temps for each day. Constant high temperatures make building materials, such as doors and flooring, expand and contract, causing them to warp.
Preparing Your AC for Your Absence
To avoid part failures that could cause a system shutdown while you are gone, perform preventative maintenance tasks for your air conditioner before you leave. In general, you will need to change the filter, clear the drain lines, and check the vent flaps to prepare the cooling system. If you notice any problems with your system, schedule an appointment with your AC repair professional for a quick fix before you go.
While Away, Use This Summer Vacation Thermostat Setting
Right before you leave for vacation, set the thermostat to a temperature that is between 5 to 10 degrees higher than your normal setting. By turning up the temperature, you can save money on energy costs while continuing to reap the benefits of leaving your AC running. Professionals state that 85 degrees is the best temperature to set your AC while away because it resembles outdoor weather. According to energy.gov, "The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be." Just be prepared to deal with a warm house when you return.
If you want to come home to comfortable temperatures, consider having a digital thermostat installed. With this device, you can control the temperature settings from a distance using your Smartphone. Otherwise, you will need to set the thermostat back down to a comfortable temperature and wait several hours for your home to cool off again after coming back from vacation.
Additional AC Tips For Summer Vacation:
- Close all blinds and curtains - to keep the heat out as much as possible
- Leave bedroom doors open - for better airflow
- Unplug all electronics and appliances - to keep the house cooler
- Take out the trash and do your laundry - body oils attract moisture and create mold
Netting the Benefits
By properly preparing and setting your air conditioning unit before your vacation, you can avoid having to worry about your home while you are away. Upon returning from your trip, you will just be able to sit back, relax, and recuperate from your fun vacation without worrying about the state of your home or AC unit.
Following these tips will prevent you from paying too much in air conditioning costs while still protecting your home from the extreme heat.
If you're looking for more ways to save energy and maintain a healthy home, click here to see all our helpful tips.