AIR QUALITYCOMMON HVAC PROBLEMSCoolingCOST SAVINGSEnergy CostsIN CHARLOTTEShould You Cut Your AC Off While Away on Vacation?

July 22, 2021
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Should You Cut Your AC Off While Away On Vacation?

Yes, it may seem thrifty to turn off your AC when you’re away for a long period of time, but your AC cools and dehumidifies the air. If the humidity levels in your home go above 50% your home can accumulate moisture which can cause problems with mold and bacteria. It will also cause invasive pests to inhabit areas that normally they wouldn’t have the inclination to do so.

Why You Shouldn’t Cut Off AC While Away

It’s is tempting to turn off your air conditioner entirely while you’re away in order to save money. Who needs the expense of cooling an empty home when you’re not there? Even though this does seem thrifty, it’s not the best plan for your home. You can however unplug other appliances, such as your television, gaming system, and computer to avoid the usage of “vampire power”. But by no means, would you want to cut off your AC entirely while being away.

This is a consideration for unoccupied homes that you may be listing for sale or rent as well. If a house has no AC running for long durations, it can suffer serious damage from excess heat and humidity in the home. While the heat and humidity linger in the home, your drywall (sheetrock) can begin to break down and absorb moisture. If humidity levels go above 50%, biological growth such as mold, dust mites, fleas, and invasive insects will make your home their home. Your air conditioner both cools and dehumidifies your house which wards off these conditions.

Max Thermostat Temps

You’ll want to set your thermostat to no more than 83 degrees when you’re on summer vacation if the outside temps are in the 90s. Spring and Fall temperatures vary, so if the outside temps are cooler you may want to have your temperature settings 5-10 degrees cooler than the highs of any given day. The purpose of this is that your system needs to run a few hours each day to cool and dehumidify your home. This should keep your AC system cycling often enough to reduce humidity in your home, keep temperatures within a safe range while also helping to keep your energy usage at a minimum.

Programming Adjustments

Because you’re not going to be at home, it’s not going to be as critical to have micro adjustments for different times of the day for your comfort level. This means you can turn off programming and have the thermostat set to “hold” at a given temperature, so the the max temperature is reached and it will cycle on. If you have a smart thermostat you can control remotely then you can monitor your home’s temps and make adjustments if needed, for instance if you have a pet or house sitter that is staying in the home for a duration of time. This also allows you to control the temps in the event that they make adjustments to the thermostat in person and forget to change it back.

Thermostat Settings For Pets While Away
Thermostat Settings For Pets While Away

Best Temperature for Pets

If you’re leaving your pets behind, speak with your veterinarian about the best temperature for them. Some pets may need a temperature lower than 83 to stay comfortable and healthy. Other tropical pets may actually be more comfortable in a room that’s beyond what you feel is comfortable. Do make sure however that your pets have plenty of water while you’re away, as they’ll likely need to drink more if you’re keeping the home warmer. If you have an automatic watering dish you’ll still want someone to be coming to check on your pets ever so often to make sure it hasn’t tipped over or ran out. A pet without water or in a home where the AC system has failed is a life threatening condition and should be taken very seriously.

If you think you have problems with your HVAC  size or that it might be time for an upgrade to a new unit, give us a call. We’ll evaluate your system and help make recommendations for optimum value. After all, we want to keep you cool all summer long and warm in the winter. Just schedule a visit with one of our technicians to talk about how we can help with your thermostat’s settings. Would you like to learn more options our techs can help you with? give us a call 704-684-5339