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A Vacation For You (and Your Home’s Air Conditioning)

If you have a summer vacation planned, you’ve probably been musing about travel and relaxation, not lower utility bills. You don’t have to choose – by adjusting your thermostat before you leave, you can take a big bite out of your monthly bill while taking some well-deserved time off. Read on to find out other options on returning to a comfortable home.

How High Can You Set the Temp?

The most important consideration when adjusting your thermostat for vacation is whether you have pets staying in the home. Pets must have fresh air just like humans and are vulnerable to heat-related illness, so it’s imperative that you leave the air conditioner running.

If you live in an especially humid climate (like Ohio in the summer), you might want to set the temperature a few degrees lower so that the air conditioner runs a little more frequently. That’s because your home’s AC unit not only cools the air, it’s also designed to remove humidity at the same time.

If you don’t have any pets living in your home, you can set the thermostat a bit higher, but you still shouldn’t turn it off completely. Stagnant air in the middle of summer humidity can turn the inside of your home into a sauna, potentially causing serious damage to drywall, wallpaper and even wood. It can result in quicker wear in your refrigerator’s compressor and may even cause it to fail. Delicate artwork, houseplants, makeup, bottles of wine and other household items can all fall victim to several steamy days.

What About Cold Months?

A home with pets will need to be kept warmer than an empty home, but 65 degrees will be comfortable for most. If you have any pipes that extend beyond the treated air inside your home (like a hose bibb), you should take steps to prevent them from freezing, such as wrapping them with insulation or draining the pipes before you leave.

Ask a Friend for Help

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with adjusting the temperature right before you walk out the door and adjusting it again upon your return, but you will come back to a hot, uncomfortable house. One solution – if you have someone feeding your pets or collecting your mail – ask them to stop by and turn the air on the night before you return, so the house is comfortable and cool upon your arrival.

High Tech Solutions

Rather than relying on someone to remember to stop by and adjust your thermostat just before you return, there are several high tech solutions that can help save energy while you’re gone, and get your home comfortable for your return.

Some, but not all programmable thermostats will allow you to program a lower temperature for a specific date in the future, usually within 2 weeks. A smart thermostat connects to your home Wi-Fi network, allowing you to control it from anywhere using your smartphone.

You would simply fire up the app and adjust the thermostat when it’s convenient. Be sure to allow time for your home to cool down – allow about 8 hours for it to completely adjust, depending on how high you set the temp when you leave. You could also adjust it in stages, saving the last adjustment just a few hours or even minutes before you return. This can be performed with programming or manual remote control. You gotta love technology.

If you’re thinking about upgrading your thermostat or just want to give your system a tune-up before you head out on vacation, call Pickerington Heating & Cooling at (614) 837-4026. or use our online appointment form.