Taking a vacation is an exciting time, especially if you’ve been doing your best to stay cooped up in the house for the past year. Whether you’re going for a short weekend getaway or a month-long trip, it’s important you think about your air conditioning system before departing.
A lot of people believe it’s best to completely shut off their AC units before a trip. The longer the trip, the more likely a person is to assume this. While it’s best not to leave the system running as if you were home, shutting it down completely can be a big mistake.
When the temperature starts creeping up, the humidity does, too. This can lead to mold and mildew in your house, electronics that go on the fritz, and potential damage to both the interior and exterior of your residence.
Mildew Can Grow in Your Home
Your air conditioning system has more than one function. Though the primary function is to cool your house, a secondary function is to reduce the humidity level in your residence. When warm air is drawn into your air conditioner, the humidity is sucked in and absorbed as well. When the system is off for an extended period of time, humidity enters your home and starts to make the environment damp.
Humidity levels won’t spike sharply, but they’ll slowly rise. Once humidity levels in your residence teeter above 50%, spores of mold and mildew can begin to pop up. These spores can grow nearly anywhere, including on fabrics, wood, flooring, and all over your perishable food items.
Your Electronics Can Suffer Damage
A crazy thing that can happen when humidity levels get too high is damage to electronics. When moisture gets trapped inside tiny parts of electronics, it can zap them or make them behave strangely. If humidity levels rise high enough, metal components of these machines can rust or corrode, though this mostly applies to long vacations.
Humidity Can Cause Structural Damage to Your Home
High humidity levels can damage your house as well as make it smell musty and cramped. Paint can peel off the walls. Windows and door frames can swell from the moisture or crack. If you have wooden floors, particularly if they’re unfinished, they can become warped and misshapen. Plaster can split and crack, leaving an expensive mess for you to clean up when you get back from paradise.
Overall, too much humidity in a home isn’t pretty. Keeping your AC unit running on a semi-frequent basis while away is the best way to prevent problems like these.
The Proper Settings When Away on Vacation
When you’re away on vacation, try your best to strike a balance between lowered humidity levels and energy savings. If you leave your thermostat set as if you were home, you’ll pay more than you need and waste energy. Raising the temperature to 85 degrees is the best way to strike this balance.
Next, check that your air conditioner’s fan is set to AUTO. This function means that the fan will only run when the thermostat detects the need for cooler temperatures. If you accidentally set the fan to ON, it will run the entire time you’re gone. This wastes a lot of money and causes unneeded wear and tear to the system.
Why a Programmable Thermostat Will Making Coming Home Pleasant
Coming home to a house that’s set at 85 degrees isn’t bad. Your home will be toasty but not unbearable. If you want a cool environment to come home to, however, there’s always a programmable thermostat to consider.
These thermostats allow you to set a vacation schedule. If you know which day you’ll be home, the thermostat can slowly cool down your house for you ahead of time. Some models can also be controlled via an app on your smartphone. You can change the temperature before you board your flight home.
If you’re interested in learning more about programmable thermostats and how they can maximize the efficiency of your HVAC system, give us a call at Smedley Service today. We’re a leading HVAC provider serving Layton and the surrounding areas. We offer AC and furnace installation, repair, and maintenance services and would love to hear from you.