Your bags are packed, plane tickets are in hand, and you are ready for some fun in the sun! Just make sure your air conditioning unit is ready as well. Here are some easy tips for prepping your AC system so that your summer getaway ends as well as it begins.
You’re staying cool underneath the umbrella at the beach, but there is no reason for your house to be just as cool. The recommended temperature setting for the summer months is between 70-80 degrees, but when you leave, you should plan on keeping your house 7 degrees warmer than you normally do. This will help you save money when you aren’t at home as the air conditioner won’t be constantly running.
The second benefit of a shorter duration is that it will increase the longevity of your unit; more time off means less overall depreciation. But don’t let that logic sway you into turning your unit off entirely while you are gone. Air conditioning circulates the air in your home, which prevents humidity from rising. Humidity is toxic to your home; it causes excess moisture in your house, which in turn ramps up mold and mildew growth. It can even attract some unwelcomed guests from taking their own vacation: pests.
Coming home to a musty-smelling, bug-infested house would be a problematic way to end your getaway, but so would coming home to an uncomfortably hot house. Avoid the latter by programming your AC unit to start running the day of your return. Smart thermostats, like the Nest or Ecobee, allow you to adjust the temperature of your house using your phone. With a swipe of a finger, adjust your house’s temperature back down by 7 degrees and step inside a cool home.
If you are a DIYer, then making sure your air conditioning unit is good to go before you go is a smart idea. The first step you can take is to simply change your air conditioner’s filter. Make sure your filter has a high MERV rating (a rating given to filters that represents its performance capabilities). The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient your filter, which will help lower the cost of running your air conditioning while you are not home.
A fresh air filter is a step in the right direction, so continue that path forward by also cleaning your AC unit. Your air conditioner unit is bound to have dust and dirt buildup in it, especially if it hasn’t been cleaned since last season. Using your own garden hose, you can clean those particles out and leave your air conditioner in a prime position to function at its prime level while you are gone.
If you tend to shy away from DIY projects, then simply have a certified HVAC technician complete a thorough inspection of your air conditioner unit before you leave town. The technician will examine and clean all AC unit components, including the blower and coil condenser. They will also check for corrosion on parts like the evaporator, compressor, and expansion valve. This preventative care will ensure your air conditioner is doing its job while you are taking a break from yours!
House and Property Prep
Small efforts on your part, both inside and outside of your home, will be the final step to safeguard your AC unit while you are on vacation.
- Close all drapes, blinds, and shutters in your house; this will lower the amount of heat that comes into your home, which in turn will lower how often your air conditioner runs.
- Unplug electronics (like the television and computer) and appliances (like the toaster and coffee pot); since you have to run your air conditioner while you are out of town, save money by unplugging what is unused.
- Do a thorough sweep of your yard and put away any yard or garden tools, toys or exercise equipment, or yard decor or lawn chairs; should severe weather hit, you don’t want your air conditioner to get hit by flying debris.
- Install a surge protector for your AC unit to ensure that power surges or spikes don’t damage your air conditioner while you are gone.
This trio of prep (temperature, maintenance, and house/property) will provide the ideal air conditioning experience for your home while you are experiencing your ideal summer vacation.
Snyder Heating and Air Conditioning Can Help!
Ready to soak up the sun? Snyder Heating and Air Conditioning technicians are on stand-by for summer-vacation service calls or other preventative maintenance. Please don’t hesitate to request a quote today!