“Should I Turn Off My A/C System Before Traveling?” Answered

should-i-turn-off-my-a-c-system-before-travelingAs we continue the battle against COVID-19, staying close to home is the goal. We’re writing today’s post for those who must travel for any number of reasons outside of their control. Perhaps you will be helping a son or daughter relocate as they transition to college life, have an out-of-town work training you’re required to attend or are called away to perform essential work. Each year, we are often asked the following question: “Should I turn off my AC system before traveling?” Keep reading for our professional recommendations. Keep in mind, these tips are for homeowners who will be away during a typical week (we covered hurricane season HVAC to-do’s in a previous post).

On or Off?

You may have grown up with a parent turning the AC system off before the family left for vacation. Their reasoning was likely that there was no use in paying to cool a vacant home. Depending on your geography (and the weather in your home state), perhaps this approach worked at the time. Fast-forward to your life in the Southeast today, where factors are quite different. Turning the AC system off for several days can raise humidity levels in the home and may put a strain on appliances and electronics. Additionally, high temperatures inside the home can be damaging to furniture and artwork. We recommend leaving the air conditioner on while you are away, with the following adjustments:

  • Leave the AC system running but raise the temperature several degrees. For example, if you normally set the system to 74 degrees, consider going 10 degrees higher (Consumer Reports recommends not higher than 85 degrees).
  • Smart Energy suggests drawing your blinds and being mindful of the placement of your electronics (away from your thermostat).
  • If your home has a Nest thermostat, set it to “away” mode so the system can switch to Eco Temperatures. Another benefit of having a Nest is being able to lower the air before you return so that you can walk into a cool and comfortable home after your trip away.

Don’t Forget Your Filters

Show your AC system some love with fresh, new air filters before you leave. Replacing air filters regularly should already be on your calendar, but making the swap at this time will mean your system won’t have to work quite as hard, which is important since you won’t be there to address any issues that may come up.

Clear the Area Around Your Unit

When caring for your landscaping, check for weeds, shrubs or vines that may be growing around your AC unit. These can lead to bigger issues down the road so you’ll want to safely remove anything that is too close.

We’re Here to Help

The East Cooper Heating & Air team is committed to its employees, customers and communities. We are taking proper measures to ensure the safety of our team members and our customers. Let’s work together to keep you and your family safe this summer. Contact us today to get started.

More Tips on Air Conditioning

If you are looking for a Charleston heating and cooling professionals, then please call 843-375-6592 or complete our online request form.

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