Whether or not to turn off the air conditioning before you jet off on vacation is one of the dilemmas vacationers face. There are some factors to consider in order to make the best decision on what to do for your air conditioning.
Length of Vacation
If you are going to be gone for a short time, such as for a weekend or so, then keep the air conditioner on but set it at a higher temperature. You don’t need to cool the house to a temperature that you are comfortable at, but you can keep humidity levels in check if you keep it on. If you are going to be gone for a week or more, it makes more sense to turn the system off. In both situations, a programmable thermostat is going to be great so you can turn up the thermostat when you are gone on shorter trips and you can use the thermostat to start cooling the house down a day before you return from long trips. Keep in mind, if you have pets that will be staying in your home they may need to be at a certain comfort level, which can play into your decision regardless of how long you are gone.
Check the forecast for the time you are away. If the weather is going to be mild then you can turn off the AC because the risk of heat building up is low. If there is supposed to be hotter temperatures, then it might be best to keep your AC on. This will help prevent it from running overtime in order to cool down the home as you come home.
The efficiency of your home will factor into what you do with your AC. If your home is efficient with attic insulation, efficient windows, and lower air infiltration, then it has a higher resistance to heat build up and you can turn if off while gone. Make your home more efficient by minimizing air leaks.
While turning off your system while you are on vacation may make the most sense in order to save money on energy costs, keeping the air circulating can also be important. One of the things to remember is keeping the humidity levels down. Moisture helps hold heat, which can make it harder to cool down the home once you return from vacation. Moisture can also impact wood floors, doors, and cabinetry.
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