Managing your AC While Away on Vacation

The Texas Summer is quickly arriving, and with it comes that much awaited vaction time. As you prep for your getaway, it's important to also consider how you will be maintaining your home while you're away.

There are several factors to consider, including the length of your vacation, as we discuss below. But the bottom line to understand is that if saving the most energy is your primary concern, turning the system off completely will give you that result. However, the more widely recommended option is to turn the thermostat up while away, not off. Read on to understand why this is the case.

If you’re only going to be gone for a short time, just a day or two, it’s better to keep the air conditioner on, but set at a higher temperature. Cooling an empty house to the temperature you'd be comfortable at while home can be wasteful and unnecessary. While it puts some extra strain on your AC to return a hot house to a more comfortable temperature, you'll save energy and keep the humidity level under control by leaving it on.

For longer vacations when no one will be using your home for a week or more at a time, you'll save the most energy and cost by turning the system off. In this case, you can use your programmable thermostat to begin to cool the home a day or so before your return. Be sure to remember the safety and comfort of any animals that will be left in the home.

Check the local forecast for the timeframe you will be away as the weather plays an important role as to whether to turn the AC on or off. If the weather will be relatively mild, it may be best to simply turn the AC off since there is a minimal risk of heat building up indoors. If, however, forecast is promising scorching temperatures, consider keeping the AC on. This will help prevent your cooling appliances from running overtime to compensate for the high temperatures in your home. In addition, indoor temperatures above about 80 degrees can cause distress to any pets left at home.

The overall energy efficiency of your home will also help determine if you should turn your cooling system off while away. Homes with ample attic insulation, lower air infiltration and efficient windows have a higher resistance to heat buildup. Adding solar window films or thermal drapes can help improve inefficient windows. If you can minimize air leaks, your home will be able to retain cooler temperatures for a longer period of time.

Keeping the air circulating in your home while away will help the system do an important part of its job — that is, keeping the humidity down inside. Moisture holds heat, which will make your system work harder to cool down the home upon your return. In addition, the extra moisture can impact other features of your home, including wood floors, doors and cabinetry.

  1. Length of Vacation
  2. Weather
  3. Efficiency
  4. Protecting Other Parts of Your Home

If you're in need of repairs or maintenance for your home air conditioning and heating system, call AC Express right away! Our certified technicians can respond same-day. Call now!