Before leaving for summer vacation, many Fort Wayne area homeowners wonder what they should do with their air conditioning system. Of course, you won’t need to run the AC as frequently while your home sits vacant for several days. But you’re not sure if turning it off altogether is a good idea either.

In our most recent blog, the heating and cooling technicians at “Doc” Dancer explain what you should do with your AC system when you’re on vacation or out of town for several days during the summer.

Should I Turn My Air Conditioner Off?

Probably not. Turning your AC completely off during the hot summer months could run the risk of harming temperature-sensitive components or appliances as well as damage to flooring and furniture.

There are several other advantages to leaving your cooling system on and just setting it at a higher temperature:

  • It’s more energy efficient. Keeping your home at a more consistent temperature will cost less in the long run.
  • Programmable thermostats make it convenient. If you have one, you can set the thermostat to your desired temperature the day before you arrive home, so it’ll be nice and cool immediately when you arrive.
  • High indoor temps can cause problems. Any wood in your home’s interior (flooring, furniture) could expand, crack, or buckle under prolonged extreme heat. Keeping the temperature somewhat cool while you’re gone will help prevent such problems. Additionally, your drywall could deteriorate and accumulate moisture. If humidity levels exceed 55%, you run the risk of mold, dust mites, fleas, and invasive insects. Your AC doesn’t just cool your home; it dehumidifies it as well, which works to eliminate most of the above problems.

What’s the Optimal Temperature to Set Your Thermostat While on Vacation?

If you set your thermostat 7 to 10 degrees above your normal setting while you’re away, you could save as much as 10% on your energy bills.

Another good rule of thumb is to check your local extended forecast before leaving for vacation. Set your thermostat a few degrees cooler than the average high temperature during those days you’re away. 

If you have pets that will stay at home while you’re away, you’ll need to consider their health and comfort, though. Consult with your veterinarian to determine a comfortable temperature for them. If you have wine, artwork, or other temperature-sensitive items, you might want to keep the thermostat at your normal temperature setting.

Other Steps to Take Before You Leave for Vacation

We know, we know. Your vacation checklist is already long. But if you’re really looking for energy efficiency at home, this is a perfect time to change your air filter. Not only will it increase your AC’s airflow and efficiency, but will mean clean, fresh air when you return home.

Also, just as you would do if you were home, close the curtains and blinds to keep the natural light/heat out. 

Is Your HVAC System Giving You Problems? Call Us

We hope your AC unit doesn’t give you any untimely headaches while you’re trying to enjoy your summer getaway. But if it does, “Doc” Dancer is here to serve you. If you need an AC repair, installation, tune-up, or replacement, contact us. You can also call 260-250-2981 to speak with a friendly representative.