You’ve stopped the mail. Ensured the sprinkler system is working. Double checked your reservations. And you’re off – it’s vacation time!
But what about your AC unit? Your utility bill has been creeping higher each month. Maybe this is a way to save. While you’re away on vacation, should you turn your air conditioner off? Or is there an appropriate setting for your AC unit while on vacation?
Here in Denver, there are some things we don’t think much about. Humidity is one of them. Living here, we experience dessert-like conditions throughout the year. Ever had rough, dry, cracked hands? Or a stuffy nose that just won’t go away? Yep, that’s Colorado’s dryness at play.
Yet when you close up your house for an extended period, heat and humidity can build. If your house is poorly sealed, or has poorly insulated windows and doors, it can impact the condition of inside air.
Your air conditioner is your best line of defense. In the summer, an air conditioner does more than cool your home. It also ensures your home is properly regulated for humidity. Even if left alone for only a few days, without the air conditioner on, it can leave your home stifling, and hard to breathe. This can be bad for the environment, increasing the likelihood of microbial and bacterial growth, which can impact your health.
Think of your air conditioner as a regulator. It’s designed to protect your home from extreme heat. As the temperatures climb to the nineties or one-hundreds outside, the inside temperatures can move to the eighties or nineties. That’s not good for plants, furniture, or even flooring materials inside your home. And once you return, trying to bring your inside temperatures back down to your preferred setting will take a lot of work. It means your air conditioning system will have to go into overdrive to bring the coolness back into your home.
That’s not a way to maintain energy efficiency.
Air conditioners use more energy to start each cycle than they do to maintain. If an AC unit is trying to bring down inside temperatures from the upper eighties or nineties, back down to your preferred mid-seventies, it will cycle over and over again, increasing your energy bills right along with it.
So what should you do?
Consider turning up the temperature five to eight degrees above your preferred setting. If you buy a programmable thermostat, you can set the temperature for while you’re away, and bring it back down to your preferred temperature before you arrive home. If you have a smart thermostat, you can control it from anywhere with internet access, adjusting it if you see a heatwave rolling through Colorado.
Have additional questions about creating an efficient environment while you’re on vacation? For all your air conditioning needs, contact us today.