Spring is in full swing and that means vacation season is right around the corner! Whether you’re going on a romantic European getaway or just a long weekend at Lake Tahoe with the kids, you want to know your home will be well-kept while you’re away.
You can arrange for a house sitter, or you can take steps to ensure that all your major home systems are set up to survive an empty house. This means you’ll want to decide whether to put your lights on a timer, when to strategically stop buying groceries, and whether or not to turn off your air conditioning system.
Hyde’s may not be able to answer your questions about groceries and lights, but we can certainly help you prepare your home comfort system for vacation.
Three Ways to Prepare Your Air Conditioner for Vacation
Some people recommend turning your AC completely off while you’re on vacation in order to save energy, but Hyde’s does not recommend this practice. Turning the AC off will save energy, but it will also expose your home to a lot of heat. In our hot desert climate, that heat can place additional stress on your household electronics and appliances, leaving the possibility of coming home to unwanted appliance repairs.
Rather than turn your air conditioner completely off, we recommend simply turning the temperature up. You’ll use significantly less energy on cooling, but your home will still be protected from the heat of a Coachella Valley summer.
Follow these three steps to prepare your AC for your vacation:
1. Check The Forecast
While you can reasonably expect the weather to be hot, it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast for your time away, as the temperature outside can help you decide what temperature to set your thermostat to. A good rule of thumb is to adjust your home’s temperature setting to halfway between your preferred indoor temperature and the forecasted outdoor temperature, so if you prefer your house to be 70° and it’s going to be 100° outside, set your thermostat to 85°. However, this temperature setting is also dictated by several factors including pets, plants or known humidity issues in the home.
2. Unplug Everything That’s Not In Use
Your refrigerator and freezer need to be plugged in to protect perishable food, but other electronics like televisions, computers and coffee makers should be unplugged while you’re away from home. Not only will this prevent them from using energy while they sit idle, it will prevent them from creating heat and making additional work for your AC system.
3. Lock Everything Up Tight
This sounds like a no-brainer, but there’s more to locking up than just locking your doors and windows. From an air conditioning and energy-efficiency standpoint, locking up includes closing your blinds and drapes and putting draft blockers around windows and doors. Not only will you ensure your home’s security, but you’ll also reduce the amount of energy your AC uses while you’re away.
Now that you’ve prepared your home for your absence, it’s time to set your thermostat and head out the door. And if you have a programmable thermostat, you can even reset the temperature or set a temperature schedule from your smartphone, making it that much easier to get on the road and enjoy your vacation!