Dealing with Your AC While Away on Vacation
If you use your air conditioner to keep your home cool and warm, do you still need the AC while you are away for an extended vacation? This question doesn't have a single answer. Multiple factors determine whether to leave the AC running or switch it off.
Factors to Consider
Here are the critical factors that should help you decide whether to leave the AC running.
Local Climate: The local climate is significant since it determines the temperatures and humidity your house will experience if you turn off the AC. High humidity and temperature can damage your house's contents, kill your houseplants, and even encourage mold growth. Leave the AC on if you anticipate soaring temperatures and humidity during your absence.
Energy Efficiency: Your house won't experience a lot of temperature fluctuations if it is energy efficient. A house is energy efficient if the attic is properly sealed, the windows and doors are energy efficient, and the house doesn't have air leaks. In such a case, you can switch off the AC without worrying about dangerous temperatures.
Vacancy Duration: Assuming temperature and energy efficiency are not major issues, leave the AC running during short vacations. The amount of energy the AC will consume during that period is not worth turning it off. Turn off the AC if you will be away for a long period, say, six months. You can save money on your utility bills by switching off your AC for that long.
Take the following measures if you decide to leave the AC running because you may be away for a considerable time.
Replace the Filters: Replace the filters so they won't get too dirty before you return. The replacement is even necessary if you haven't don't it for some time, or it might be due before you are back. Clogged filters overwork the AC and increase energy consumption.
Close All Openings: Ensure you close all windows, doors, skylights, and other openings. Air leaks overwork the AC and might lead to malfunctions in your absence.
Program the Thermostat: The weather will most likely fluctuate in your absence. Program the AC to increase and decrease the cooling load based on weather changes. If you have a smart thermostat, keep an eye on it wherever you are, and adjust the temperature as necessary.
Raise the Temperature Setting: Lastly, you can also save some energy by raising the temperature setting. Your house won't need to be as cool as it usually is when you are at home. Thus, every degree of change translates to considerable savings.
For more insight on AC maintenance, contact local HVAC services.