Most Americans spend practically the entire year looking forward to a relaxing vacation. Stressing out about the state of an air conditioning unit should be the least of a vacationer’s concern! Before taking a trip, here are factors that should be considered when deciding where to set the thermostat.
Length of Vacation
Leaving home for a day is different from leaving for a week, even when it comes to air conditioning. For a short trip, leaving a properly maintained air conditioning unit on during an absence is often the preferred choice. This is because, after the home warms, it takes a great deal of energy to lower the temperature back to a comfortable state. Therefore it can be more economical to just leave the air conditioner on during a short absence. For longer trips, it makes more sense to expend energy to re-cool a house than to keep it cool while it sits empty for multiple days or even weeks.
If the weather is predicted to be cool and rainy, leaving the A/C off is a safe bet. Hot, drier forecasts indicate the unit should be left on to prevent cooling systems from working overtime. This will also prevent any pets left at home from becoming uncomfortable or distressed. Finally, it’s helpful to know the structure of the home to understand how to plan a vacation. Homes with a great deal of attic insulation, lower air filtration, and efficient windows are less likely to become drastically overheated if the air conditioning unit is left off. Any necessary structural repairs, such as crawl space repairs to seal out moisture, should be completed before a trip.
One last consideration to make is whether or not to leave the air circulating in the home regardless of temperature conditioning. For those with homes in humid environments, air cycling can help reduce humidity and protect hardwood floors, doors, and cabinetry. Keeping humidity down can also reduce heat in the home, making it easier to cool upon return. In addition to this, it can minimize build-up that requires air duct cleaning.
More Energy-Saving Tips
Whether the air conditioning unit is on or off, there are other ways to conserve energy for a vacation. Closing curtains can significantly reduce the amount of heat that is trapped in a home, regardless of whether the air conditioning unit is on. Make sure to turn off the main water supply in advance of an extended absence; unplugging electronics and turning off unnecessary lights can also cut down on waste. For those looking for a tech-savvy way to reduce energy use, Advanced Air Solutions recommends a wifi thermostat. It works through an app on your smartphone and lets the customer check the temperature and humidity in the home while away.
While all of these tips are helpful, staying cool requires a reliable air conditioning system above all else! If you need an examination or an upgrade, get a free estimate from Advanced Air Solutions or give us a call at 910-791-7888 today!