Your Air Conditioner and Your Vacation

We are sure you have a checklist of things to do before you go on vacation. But, what about your Air Conditioner? We have some tips that will maximize energy efficiency and make your home comfortable for your return.

Your AC’s primary job is to keep you cool. But if you aren’t home you won’t need to maintain the 72 degrees you probably find comfortable. Unless you have a house sitter, delicate artwork or a wine collection, you can make an energy efficient reduction in the home temperature.

According to EPA’s EnergyStar program, every degree you lower your home’s temperature below 78 degrees costs you as much as 5% of your total cooling costs. Setting your thermostat at a higher temperature saves you money. So, set it up and save money! EPA recommends a setting of 85 degrees when the home isn’t in use.

The length of your vacation will make a difference in your setting. If it is a long weekend getaway, you won’t save much by turning up the thermostat. You can bump it up a few degrees, which is a good compromise between energy efficiency and comfort when you return home.

Depending on the size of your home, keeping the AC on at a higher setting may be more efficient than turning it off completely. When you turn it on after leaving it off for the weekend, your system must work overtime to cool air that as grown stale and hot.

For longer vacations it is tempting to save money by turning it off entirely. However, the extreme temperatures we have been experiencing can damage your belongs. When it is 90 degrees outside, the interior of your home can easily reach triple digits within a week. Bump it up and leave it on.

Make your air conditioner’s vacation more relaxing by reducing some of the load it normally carries. Electronic items in your home generate heat even when they aren’t in use. Unplugging electronics and appliances will help your home stay cooler. If you are going to be away for an extended time, empty and disconnect your refrigerator. Your air conditioner will thank you!