As we write this, we’re welcoming the arrival of Spring — but you might already be thinking about your summer vacation plans. We wrote about making sure your air conditioner is ready for summer in a previous post, and hopefully you’ve had everything checked to ensure it’s working properly. At Absolute Comfort in Crystal Lake, we’re here to take care of all your heating and cooling needs — and if you run into AC problems — we’ll be there to help! (Remember, you can call us 24/7 for emergency AC service, too.)
So, if you ARE planning your summer vacation already, you may be wondering: should I leave my AC on while I am on vacation? It’s a common cooling system question we get from many homeowners. For example, do you leave it set at the same temperature as if you were home? Do you have someone come check on things while you’re gone? In this post, we’ll look at a few of those scenarios.
Setting the Thermostat
If you have a programmable thermostat, then you likely have it set to keep the AC from running too much while you’re at work or away from the house. When it comes to vacation, you may want the cooling system to run even less frequently. You can set the thermostat approximately 7 to 10 degrees higher than normal; this will ensure that the AC only turns on when it gets really warm in the house, as opposed to running constantly. If you have pets in the house, then you’ll want to make sure it’s not too hot!
Your thermostat may also have a “vacation” mode or a separate program input that you can set for when you’re on vacation. You can set the temperature where you want it, and not have to worry about it until you return home.
Finally, if you have a smart thermostat such as the Ecobee — which you can control from anywhere in the world via your mobile phone — then you can check in from time to time to make sure it’s doing what it should. or make adjustments when needed.
Keep Your System Running Efficiently
In order to keep your cooling system running efficiently while you’re gone, you’ll want to make sure that you limit the amount of radiant heat that finds its way inside the house. Closing the curtains and blinds can keep out the sunlight, and closing certain registers and returns can contain the cool air to a certain part of the house.
You’ll also want to make sure that your outdoor AC unit isn’t being encroached on by your yard. If trees or bushes are growing too close, take some time to trim them back before you leave on vacation. While they won’t grow too much in the week or two that you’re gone, a summer thunderstorm could bring a branch down on top of the unit.
Last — but certainly not least — if you haven’t had your AC tuned up before you leave, now’s the time to do it. This way you’ll know beforehand that you’re good to go with a smoothly running system, rather than a last minute repair when you come home!
Have Someone Check on Things
You may be planning to hire a house sitter or pet sitter to take care of things while you’re away. It’s important to instruct them on how to set the thermostat and keep the air conditioning running smoothly. They might be working during the day, and you’ll want to ensure that your pets and indoor plants aren’t exposed to higher-than-normal temperatures.
If someone is coming over a few times to get the mail or to water your plants, then leave them a note or talk to them about how to check the thermostat to see if the AC is running normally. Be sure to leave our number (815-893-9276) should there be an issue. Remember that Absolute Comfort is available to take your call 24/7, with emergency AC service available!
Enjoy Your Summer Vacation!