Should You Leave the AC on When You Leave for Vacation?

It may seem logical to shut off your system before leaving home for a summer vacation, but there’s a reason why most HVAC companies advise against it. It’s a myth that turning off the system will lower your monthly energy bills. In fact, the opposite may happen instead, resulting in higher energy consumption.


Why It’s Not Advisable to Turn Off Your AC System

Keeping your AC system running while your home is empty may not make sense, but you have to consider the typical summer weather pattern. On a hot summer day, soaring outdoor temperatures mean your home will quickly accumulate heat inside. Excessive humidity is also part of summer weather and can cause damage as it builds up within your home’s interior.

Excess humidity won’t usually be a problem with the AC system running — not only does the AC unit keep your home cool, it also helps regulate indoor humidity levels. Turning it off for weeks, however, will cause indoor humidity levels to rise. In turn, mold and fungus may grow and spread. This can also invite dust mites to flourish.

Things to Keep in Mind This Summer

For heating and air conditioning companies, the indoor temperature setting should be no higher than 84 degrees while you’re away on vacation. This is typically recommended if summer temperatures are in the 90s. As a guide, consider adding five degrees to your usual setting when you’re at home. For instance, if your thermostat is normally set to 72 degrees, consider increasing it to 77 when away from home.

Did you know you can improve your home’s energy efficiency even when leaving your AC system on while on vacation? The best way to ensure efficiency is to check your windows and doors for signs of drafts and air leaks, and ensure that they’re shut properly. Sealing them helps prevent cool air from escaping your home while keeping your monthly utility bills low. Use your curtains and window shades as well to prevent sunlight and heat from getting into your home.

For your HVAC needs this summer and beyond, turn to Stone Heating and Air, Inc., one of the leading home AC and heating companies in the area. Give us a call at (541) 855-5521 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

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