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Vacation Time! But What Should I Do About My Home’s AC?

summer vacation dogReady for your big summer vacation? You probably are, no matter how much packing you still have ahead.

But before you close and lock the doors behind you and set out for your vacation destination, what are you going to do about your home’s central air conditioning system? You may have heard conflicting advice about whether to keep the air conditioning system on while you’re gone. We’ll go into what will work best for your air conditioning in Ambler, PA for when you’re off on summer vacation.

The Basics of the Question

An air conditioning system is a source of major energy consumption in a house. It seems like it makes the most sense to leave the air conditioner off entirely when nobody is inside. But it’s not quite so simple, and in many situations, we recommend you leave the air conditioning system on but raise the thermostat setting.

Leaving the Air Conditioning On

Why would you want to have the AC left on even if the thermostat is set higher? The reason is that leaving a home that stays hot and humid for a few days at a time means having to use a large amount of power when you come back. You may need the AC running for a few hours when you return in order to properly cool the space and have humidity under control. But if the AC is left on so it will run for short times at peak heat, you won’t have to use as much energy when you come back—the cooling system will keep the house from overheating. It also protects sensitive electronics and prevents moisture build-up.

The best setting for the thermostat is 8° to 10°F higher than what you normally set it during the day when people are home. If you use an energy-saving 78°F during the day, leave the vacation setting at 86°F. Programmable thermostats make these even easier—you can set the thermostat so that it will only operate during mid-day.

Leaving the Air Conditioning Off

We recommend leaving the AC turned completely off (there’s a breaker switch located outside near the condenser unit) if you have a vacation planned for longer than a week. This will give you better energy savings overall. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can have it activate the air conditioning system the day before you get home so the house will be welcoming when you get back. And using a Wi-Fi thermostat you can control remotely, you can pick exactly when the AC will come on. This is what the Wi-Fi thermostat was designed to do!

Weather Reminder

Before you leave on your trip, check the weather forecast for where you live. You’ve been checking the weather conditions for your vacation location, but it helps to know what sort of conditions your home will face while you’re away. If you are planning to be gone more than a week and the temperatures at home will be scorching, you may wish to leave the air conditioning system on.

Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling serves Bucks and Montgomery Counties. Call us for same-day service and satisfaction guaranteed.  

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