Going Away on a Vacation? What to do with your AC?

Headed off on a weekend holiday or long-term sabbatical? It pays to prep your home for the time you’ll be away. Things like altering your water heater and air conditioner’s settings can save you a pretty penny. After all, why run these and other appliances if no one is there to use them?

Going Away on a vacation? What to do with your AC?

Adjust HVAC Settings – Don’t Turn the System Off

Leaving the air conditioner operating while you’re away will ensure enough circulation to control humidity and condensation in the summer, as well as prevent expansion and contraction from excess heat buildup that can warp and degrade surfaces like wood floors, door frames, and other structural components. In addition, close the blinds and curtain to your home to prevent the transfer of solar heat and further reduce the cooling needs of your unoccupied home. Controlling temperatures inside your home (even when you’re not there) is especially important during heat waves and periods of high humidity, which can lead to mold/mildew growth in the home if temperature/humidity are left unchecked.

Programming for Savings & Safety

A programmable thermostat, such as a Nest or Honeywell smart thermostat installed by your local home air conditioning company, offers a convenient, reliable means of ensuring just the right settings. Where should you set your thermostat for summer vacation? The EPA recommends that while you’re away, you keep your home at 85-degrees, programming your thermostat to return your home to 72-degrees the day before you return. This will preserve the structure and contents of your home, while preventing wasted energy on unnecessarily cool temperatures when no one is around to enjoy them. Forgot to program your thermostat in your rush to make your flight? Wi-Fi programmable models allow you to adjust settings from any mobile device, and cost only a few dollars more.

What About My Water Heater?

In addition to heating and air service, H & H also maintains water heaters – and we’ve seen to quite a few post-vacation surprises. To avoid ending up in such a situation, we strongly advise you to turn off the water main to your home if you’re going on an extended stay. And turn your water heater to ‘vacation setting’ – or the lowest possible temperature, particularly on less efficient, tank-style heaters. If you have a gas heater, turn off the valve just to be safe. When you get home, before you turn the hot water back on, be sure to open a hot water tap or two prior to restoring power/fuel to your water heater. If you forget to do this and the tank is empty before you turn it back on, it could become severely damaged.

Anything Else?

Vampire loss by turning off unnecessary appliances and electronics before you leave. Unused mobile device chargers, TV/stereo equipment, coffee pots, and more all drain energy – and can even malfunction – even when they’re not in use. Turning them off will save energy, and potentially your home.

Problems with your air conditioner or water heater leave you with an unexpected souvenir? End your vacation on a positive note with the fast, affordable emergency HVAC service of H & H Heating & Cooling today.


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