Going on Summer Vacation: AC On or Off?

Learn what's best for your AC unit while away on summer vacation

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.

Going on Summer Vacation: AC ON or OFF?

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, to 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 upcoming 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 on vacation, use these settings

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 because it resembles outdoor weather. In turn, your AC does not work as hard and your electricity bill won’t skyrocket. You will just have to deal with a warm house when you get back.

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.

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 sit back, relax and recuperate from your fun vacation without worry about the state of your home or AC unit.

Following this tips will prevent you from paying too much in air conditioning costs while still protecting your home from the extreme heat.

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