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Best Temperature to Set the Thermostat When on Vacation

thermostat-settingPlanning any more vacation time before summer ends? People often want to know what to do with their home’s central air conditioning system when they’re gone for an extended period of time—and unfortunately there’s conflicting accounts you’ll hear about the best strategies.

Shut down the AC completely so it won’t come on at all? Program it to come on only right before you arrive home? Or have it come on periodically during the time the house is empty?

We’ll take a look at the ideal strategies for what to do with your residential air conditioning in Riverside, CA during your vacation.

Keep in mind your home has temperature needs as well

It might sound wasteful to run the air conditioning system at all while you’re gone. After all, the AC exist to cool people down. What’s the point in having it run at all if nobody’s home?

The truth is that air conditioners do more for a house than keep the people inside cool. Leaving the AC off or set so high that it rarely comes on can leave a house overheated and dry, leading to damage to surfaces, building material, and precision equipment. It can also wipe out house plants. Shutting the air conditioning off fully (which you can do by flipping the breaker switch to the AC) is only a good strategy if you don’t believe conditions will be too intensely hot while you’re away. If you are also concerned about energy costs, this is the most important concern, then shut the AC all the way off—just be aware of what to check on when you get home.

The higher thermostat setting

So the general advice: for most vacations, you should leave the air conditioner on. Not only does this stop potential heat damage, but it can save you money in the case of a shorter vacation. You can end up running the air conditioner for long hours when you come back home to get the house comfortable, so it’s less costly to have the AC run periodically to maintain a cooler temperature that won’t require you to blast it when you come back.

But what temperature setting is the best for your vacation time? We recommend setting it 8°F warmer than you normally have it during the day. This can mean 85°F. This sounds hot, but you won’t be around in this temperature. It’s cool enough for the needs of the house and gives you a head start on chilling out the house when vacation is done.

Go programmable!

If you have a programmable thermostat, the job is much easier. Put in settings so the AC runs only during the day to cool the house. If you have a thermostat with multiple settings for different days, program it to increase its cooling on the day you come home so you arrive to a pleasant house. With a Wi-Fi thermostat, you can even activate the thermostat remotely, as well as check on temperature conditions from wherever you are so you know if the thermostat needs to be set lower.

Like our shoe covers, our customers are the coolest! Call A-Avis Home Services Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. for your HVAC needs.

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