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Vacation Time and Your HVAC System

Even though it’s back to school time for many families, for others it’s time to head south for a quick vacation before fall gets here; or snow birds may be planning a winter escape from the bitter cold of Columbus winters. Follow these tips for best practices for saving energy and having a comfortable home to return to… no matter the time of year.

You’re leaving your home for about a week. Since you won’t be around, you’re trying to save money by lowering your electric bill on your home. During the warmer months, it can seem like your electric bill is sky high based solely on your air conditioning. Then in the cooler months, your heat is taking over your electric or gas bill. Why should this be just as high when no one is living there? It doesn’t have to be.

When you leave for vacation, you can adjust your thermostat to a temperature a little different from your normal setting, higher when it’s warm, lower when it’s cold out. This will allow the air conditioning or furnace to run less when no one is home. This also means you’re saving money!

When you come home, you can simply return the thermostat to a comfortable temperature. It may seem unpleasant to walk into a hot or cool house; however, you’ll feel very pleasant when you see that bill.

Where should you set the thermostat?

This can be tricky. You have to know the climate you’re living in. If it’s a more humid area, it’s probably best to set the temperature to where it’s not too hot. Humidity in a home is not a good thing. So making sure you air runs more frequently than those less humid climates is important.

Another thing to consider is what you’re leaving behind. Do you have pets at home that will be left? Or will you have house plants that could be threatened by lack of airflow? You don’t want your pets to suffer in your home. They need the air just as much as you do. Make sure that the temperature is a reasonable setting for your household. By all means, on warm days turn the thermostat a bit higher when you leave, but don’t put your pets’ health in danger.

Don’t Ever Do This with Your Thermostat

When you leave for vacation, you should never turn your air all the way off. No airflow in the house could be dangerous to the interior of your home. The still, stagnant air could affect your appliances. Your refrigerator could begin to fail. Other household items, like food, could be affected by the lack of airflow. Again, if you live in a humid climate, you could see damage to the actual bones of our home. No one wants to do remodeling when they come home from an enjoyable vacation.

What about heating your home?

We talked about running your air conditioning less, but what about heating your home? You need to look at similar factors when setting your heat to a certain temperature. Are you leaving pets behind? Those furry family members will need to be in a warmer climate than an empty house. Find a reasonable temperature that isn’t too low. You don’t want your pets to be in an extremely cold environment.

Another extremely important thing to think about when you go away during the winter is the potential for pipes freezing. The plumbing in your home can be greatly affected if the outside temperature plummets, especially in an older home without a lot of good insulation. You don’t want to come home to a flooded house because a pipe burst! Make sure that you set a temperature that allows for your pipes to be safe from frigid temperatures.

You can also leave a faucet dripping — sometimes even a warm house isn’t enough to prevent frozen pipes, especially in sub-zero temperatures. Fortunately, we don’t see many of those days in central Ohio any more, but you never know.

What if I forget to set my thermostat?

Today’s world is filled with innovative technology. There are a variety of thermostats on the market that make it easy for you to program a schedule to set your thermostat remotely. The new smart thermostats connect you to your home from anywhere. By connecting your thermostat to your Wi-Fi and installing an app on your smart phone, you can make sure that the temperature is perfect. You can simply go onto your phone and set a temperature instantly in your house.

So, if you’re on the road and you forget to raise the temperature to let your air conditioning run less, problem solved! Additionally, if you’re on your way home and don’t want to walk into a sauna of a home, you can adjust the temperature on your way home. The new technology is simple enough for everyone to become used to.

Enjoy Your Vacation with No Worries

When it comes time for your vacation, it should be a vacation for your HVAC system too. Whether you want to learn how to set your thermostat to an appropriate temperature, or you want to install a new and innovative thermostat, we can help. With more than 50 years of service, we have highly trained and certified HVAC professionals available to assist you today. Schedule an appointment now by phone (don’t forget to choose the most closest location) or use our convenient online contact form. That way, you can enjoy your vacation in total peace!

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