Should You Turn Off The AC When You Go On Vacation?

Planning to go on a vacation but aren’t sure what to do with your air conditioner system? Our HVAC technicians get this concern from homeowners all the time. While turning off your air conditioning may seem like a good idea while you’re away, it may not always be cost-effective or beneficial to your home.

Below we offer our expert tips on maintaining both your home and AC unit so that you can have an enjoyable time away. Continue reading below for some key things to consider when deciding if you should keep your AC running or shut it off.

We’ve also included some helpful tips to help you save money and take good care of your HVAC system, including shutting off unused appliances and investing in a smart thermostat.

Should you turn off the AC when on vacation?  

Are you considering turning off your air conditioning while you’re away on vacation? Consider how long you’ll be away, the weather conditions, the efficiency rating of your unit, and any parts of your home that could be affected by AC malfunction or a complete shut off. 

Length of Vacation

When deciding whether or not to shut off your AC system, consider how long you’ll be away. A weekend trip may not require a complete system shutdown. Instead, increasing your thermostat by 7-10 degrees may suffice. This seems minor but it can provide you with noticeable energy savings. 

Should you turn off your AC when on vacation for longer than a week? For extended vacations, turning off the AC could increase its lifespan by decreasing running time and prolonging its service life. This said, always be mindful of the balance between the effect on your home vs. the effect on your unit.

Weather Conditions

Understanding your local climate conditions is paramount when making this decision. Arkansas, for example is prone to high humidity and warm summer temperatures, so keeping the air conditioner running can be helpful to avoid excess moisture and mold growth. 

Without it, the peak heat of summer could cause temperatures in your home to skyrocket and moisture buildup to increase rapidly, leading to higher indoor humidity levels and creating the ideal conditions for mold growth and damage.

However, if your location has milder climate conditions or lower humidity levels, turning off your air conditioning could be an efficient energy conservation measure. Be sure to consider the climate conditions and the temperature while you’re away. 

The efficiency of your AC Unit

Wondering if you should turn off your AC when you go on vacation? Your unit’s efficiency plays a critical role. A well-maintained, high-efficiency system can effectively cool your home while using less energy, thus decreasing both your carbon footprint and utility bills.

However, an older or malfunctioning unit may consume a lot more power to keep the temperature comfortable, resulting in higher bills and energy loss, not savings. 

Protecting Other Areas of the Home 

Consider the possible consequences on other parts of your home, particularly how a complete shutdown might impact other appliances like your refrigerator and freezer. 

Without AC circulating throughout your home, appliances must work harder to keep their temperatures comfortable – increasing their risk for damage, and higher bills. By simply adjusting the AC settings instead of completely switching them off, you can ensure these crucial parts of your home remain protected while you’re away.

How to prep your home for a vacation: Expert recommendations

When going for an extended vacation here are some things you can do to prepare your home. 

Leave your unit on but adjust your AC settings

So, should you keep your AC running? For longer periods of time, we suggest you leave your AC on while on vacation. To avoid making your home unbearably hot during vacation, we advise setting the AC higher but not off completely. This helps to maintain a pleasant indoor environment while saving energy and avoiding potential problems.

We often get asked, “What temperature should I leave my AC on when I’m on vacation?” We usually tell homeowners to set their thermostats a few degrees lower than the average daily high temperature.

For example, if it’s 90 degrees in your region around the time you’re going away, the optimal range for your thermostat will be between 80 to 85 degrees. 

With this, you can maintain an ideal indoor temperature, and prevent excess humidity and damage to your appliances. You can enjoy your vacation and be confident that your home is secure. 

Regular maintenance before you leave 

If you’re headed on an extended vacation, it may be a good idea to schedule a maintenance appointment or run in-house maintenance of your system to make sure everything is working before you venture off. Some things include: 

  • Clean or replace air filters 
  • Cleaning your AC system
  • Check for loose screws or attachments 
  • Scheduling an appointment with a professional if necessary

Shut off and unplug all unused appliances

Before you go on vacation, shut off or unplug all your unused appliances and electronics, such as TVs, computers and kitchen appliances, to save energy costs while you’re gone and reduce the risk of an electrical fire. 

Furthermore, switching these electronic gadgets off removes their phantom load that results from standing by power usage when left connected but unused. This not only reduces the risk of damage in the event of a power surge but helps you save on some utility costs. 

Invest in a programmable thermostat

Using a programmable thermostat is one of the best ways to adjust your AC settings while away. These smart thermostats enable you to maintain optimal temperature control in your home while cutting energy consumption costs.

With a programmable thermostat, you don’t have to ask, “Should you turn off the AC when on vacation?” These systems let you preset a schedule that automatically adjusts temperature based on your preferences. No more manually turning off AC units when you leave or coming home to an uncomfortable home after long work days!

Many programmable thermostats feature vacation mode capabilities to maintain energy efficiency in your home while you’re away. Investing in one means you’ll enjoy efficient air conditioning control and reduced utility costs while away.

Upgrade to a smart home system

A smart home system can be an excellent way to prepare your home for vacation. Automated home climate control makes life simpler by enabling you to easily adjust the settings from anywhere using your smartphone, helping to prevent potential AC issues while guaranteeing that your home remains at an ideal temperature upon your return home.

Investing in smart home technology provides added protection to your property while you’re away. Make this smart choice now to enjoy worry-free vacations and energy cost savings!

Need air conditioner maintenance or care? Call Anderson Air. 

Before choosing to shut off the air conditioning when going away on vacation, take great care when making this decision. Although turning it off may appear to be a cost-cutting measure, completely shutting off your AC may lead to increased humidity levels, potentially damaged appliances and an unpleasant home upon your return home.

If you have any questions about your air conditioning system, how to maintain it, and how to prepare it for your vacation getaway, don’t hesitate to contact us to book an appointment. 

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