Some people are surprised to learn that HVAC experts do recommend that homeowners keep their air conditioning on when they’re going to be away from the house for a few days. However, it’s not dangerous to turn the A/C completely off during the length of the vacation unless there are pets inside the house. This undoubtedly saves money. If the vacation lasts longer than a week, the A/C should be shut off completely if the thermostat can’t be programmed.
The one thing about keeping the A/C on while on vacation is to turn the thermostat up a few degrees. HVAC experts recommend that the temperature be raised between 4 and 10 degrees. The air conditioning also controls the humidity level in the house and prevents heat from building up. This is most easily done if the home has a programmable thermostat. These modern thermostats, which can be programmed over the internet or through a smart phone, can be set at certain temperatures at certain times of the day. At other times of the day the thermostat can turn the A/C off.
Even if the air conditioning is kept on while the household is on vacation, there are ways to reduce the stress on the system. They are:
• Closing the drapes or the blinds. This blocks sunlight from coming into the room during the hottest and brightest time of the day.
• If the thermostat is programmable, turn the air conditioning on remotely about a day before the family comes home.
• If the forecast predicts mild weather, it may be worth it to turn the air conditioning completely off. If the temperatures are going to be very hot, keep the A/C on. The air conditioning not only keeps the house cool and relatively dry, but keeps appliances such as the fridge from working harder than they should.
A house that has good insulation in the attic and has energy efficient windows may not need the air conditioning on while the family’s on vacation. Stopping up leaks around windows and doors also keeps cool air in the rooms longer and reduces the need for air conditioning.