Get Your Home Comfort Systems Ready Before a Vacation
More and more individuals are booking holiday trips now that the colder months are on the way. According to AAA, one-third of Americans will travel for the holidays. While you will want to celebrate this holiday season with friends and family, you will need to make sure you prepare your home and HVAC if you are away from home. Take a few simple precautions to protect your home and HVAC system before you go.
Air Conditioning and Heating System Preparation
Maintaining your HVAC system’s health whether you are home or away should be a top priority. If your system experiences problems, your home and comfort will be affected. Here are some easy ways to lower your energy bill and keep your HVAC unit healthy and working optimally.
Cranking Up the Heat or AC
The air conditioner doesn’t need to be set at a low temperature if no one will be home for several days. This will result in a significantly higher energy bill. When you’re away from home, setting the thermostat between 50 and 60 degrees is generally safe. Turning off the unit or setting the temperature lower could put the coolant coils at risk of freezing or even bursting.
Setting the Thermostat
Although it may be tempting to turn off the thermostat when you are away from home, doing so can cause many problems. For one, pipes could freeze, burst, and later flood your home. Instead, you should set the thermostat at an energy-efficient setting. When deciding on an optimal temperature setting, you should consider the climate, pets, houseplants, and if you will have anyone to drop in to keep an eye on things.
It is always important to adjust the thermostat to a suitable setting for your pets to keep them comfortable and for any houseplants to keep them healthy. When deciding on the temperature to set, check the weather forecast to help you choose the optimal setting.
You can save energy and money by adjusting the thermostat by 3 to 5 degrees higher or lower, depending on the season. Still, C & C Heating & Air Conditioning does not advocate setting the thermostat above 85 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer or below 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter.
Change the Filter
Changing out the filter is important to ensure your system keeps working efficiently and to avoid problems. Dust and bacteria will still accumulate whether you are home or away. A deterioration in air quality and an increase in your energy cost are all consequences of this dust buildup in the air filter.
Therefore, you should swap out the old filter with a new one before you leave for an extended stay. Depending on the type of filter you have, it’s recommended that you change it out every few months.
Call C & C Heating & Air Conditioning immediately if you have any inquiries or require assistance with your air filters. We know what brands to recommend and which sizes will work best for your system.
Set the Water Pump to Vacation Mode
Avoid turning off your water supply entirely as you enter the colder weather months. If the temperature drops below freezing, the water in your pipes could freeze and burst. You’ll have to deal with plumbing problems like leaks and expensive repairs when you get home.
Remember that water in motion is much less prone to freeze than water sitting still. Therefore, turning off the water supply may save money, but it raises the danger of damage to pipes during cold weather. If it is extremely cold outside, you could let your faucets drip.
Keep the water pump at its lowest setting or see if it has a vacation mode to save money. It’s expected that this setting will be standard on most modern machines. It enables water conservation at an optimal level for avoiding freeze and thaw damage. Further, this setting is more eco-friendly because it requires less water overall.
You can turn off all the lights in the house, but many appliances will still drain your power supply. Electronic devices such as televisions, stereos, and video game consoles include a “standby” option. Your electricity cost will increase even when they are switched off. Therefore, to conserve resources, you should unplug all major home appliances.
Of course, you should always have your alarm system on. Before you head off, double-check that the batteries are still good. Battery replacement is often required every six months. Carbon monoxide and smoke alarms need to be checked as well.
Unplugging the washer or other large appliance may require some effort. Manage what you can or ask for assistance if necessary with this task.
Moving perishables from the fridge to the freezer is a good idea if your trip lasts more than a month. You risk returning to a rotting mess if you don’t take this preemptive step.
The option of “timed lights” can also be explored. You can program these LED lightbulbs digitally to turn them on and off at specific times. Additionally, you can deter burglars by making it look like someone is home by leaving the lights on for a few hours each day. This way, you reduce energy use by turning the lights off or on only when necessary.
Use an Intelligent Power Strip for Electronics and Appliances
Any appliance hooked into the wall, even if turned off, can still drain energy even when the power is cut. You can reduce standby power consumption by using an intelligent power strip.
Schedule Unit Tune-Up
Having your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system checked out before you leave on vacation is a good idea. If you have a specialist from C & C Heating & Air Conditioning servicing your system, you can rest assured that it will be in top form and running smoothly.
Clean Up Your Property
Indoors, you should dust and vacuum often to keep your filter, vents, and HVAC equipment as clean as possible. Doing so will allow your home’s HVAC system to function at peak efficiency without any interruptions. Your ability to adjust the temperature of the home’s air conditioning system will be limited when you are many miles away from home unless you have a smart thermostat.
When You Get Back From Vacation
While adjusting the temperature setting on your thermostat when you get home from a trip may be tempting, doing so can put unnecessary strain on your heating and cooling system. Therefore, set your programmable thermostat 2 to 3 degrees higher than the previous setting every couple of hours until the temperature reaches your desired comfort level before you come home.
If you have returned home to find a malfunctioning HVAC system, the experts at C & C Heating & Air Conditioning are here to help. We provide Carrier and Trane products in the Detroit Metro area and perform air conditioning and heating repair, installation, and maintenance services. In addition to heating and cooling services, we also offer indoor air quality solutions, duct repair and replacement, water heaters, humidifiers, and more. Contact our highly skilled experts to schedule a service appointment.