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Should You Leave the Air Conditioner Running While on Vacation?

Should You Leave the Air Conditioner Running While on Vacation?

Posted by
Ed Miller on Fri, Jul 20, 2018

Maybe you’re headed off to tropical climes and sandy beaches for a little while this summer, or maybe you just want a few days away with family. Whatever your vacation plans for the season, leaving the house means deciding how best to prepare your home for your absence. You may set up a light timer schedule, engage a friend to bring in your mail, and buy security latches for all your windows to ensure your place stays sound.

But what about your air conditioner? The prospect of turning it off while you are gone may tempt you with its potential for savings. Yet this could end up costing you in time, comfort, or money (or all of the above).

Your Air Conditioner’s Multiple Functions

We most associate our air conditioning units with keeping our home in a comfortable temperature range. This overlooks one of the appliance’s most important features, however. While they do keep our homes cool, they do far more to “condition” the air than they do to modify its temperature.

An air conditioner also removes moisture from the air. In humid places such as Jacksonville, this function impairs mold growth, prevents unpleasant musty odors, extends the lifetime of paint by preventing peeling, and helps hinder warping in wooden furniture or cabinets. For both your comfort, and for optimum maintenance of your home, humidity inside the home should not exceed 50%.

Other Troubles with High Temperatures

In addition to the issues caused by humidity, the high heat that can ensue when you leave your air conditioner turned off may create other difficulties in your home. It is important to maintain reasonable temperatures while you are away, even if they are higher than you would ordinarily choose. Your home contains many appliances that prefer temperatures that are lower than those outside.

Your refrigerator and freezer are potentially highest among these. Rising temperatures in your home force these devices to work harder, which increases strain on the mechanism. This additional workload may increase your energy bills, as well as the chance your refrigerator or freezer will break. Lower temperatures will increase the longevity of these devices.

Warmer temperatures will also speed the degeneration of foods stored in your pantry or cupboards. It can also cause harm to electronics in your home, which can be sensitive to temperature levels.

Turn It Up, Not Off

Leaving your air conditioner set to its usual level would certainly waste unnecessary energy. Instead of turning it off when you go on vacation, turn it up instead. This allows the unit to remove excess humidity from your home while still saving money on bills.

Consider setting a temperature between 83 and 86 degrees. Those with programmable thermostats, which often automatically adjust to your preferred climate control routines, should look for modes designed for vacations, or times away. These settings suspend normal schedules in favor of maintaining the set temperatures.

Call Snyder Heating & Air Conditioning for a Pre-Vacation AC Checkup

If you’re leaving for a prolonged amount of time, it’s never a bad idea to ensure your major appliances will keep running smoothly while you are away. Contact Snyder Heating & Air Conditioning today for an air conditioning inspection that will give you peace of mind while you’re away!


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