March 26, 2018

Should I Leave My A/C Running While On Vacation?

should i leave my a/c running while on vacation

For many, spring break is on the horizon, which could mean the first vacation of the year! As anticipation grows for that much-needed time off, there are still some things you need to consider before leaving your home empty for more than a few days. One of those questions is: should you keep your A/C running while on vacation?

Unfortunately, there’s no one clear answer. A few different factors come into play that could influence your decision:

  • Length of Vacation
  • Weather
  • Thermostat Type

Length of Vacation

Depending on how long of a trip you’re planning on taking, it may be more beneficial to leave your A/C running while on vacation instead of shutting it off. Maintaining constant temperature can oftentimes allow your HVAC system to utilize less energy instead of having to account for major dips/jumps in indoor temperature.

You can also help keep costs down by shutting all curtains prior to leaving and ensuring there are no gaps in doors/windows that could let A/C out. However, for vacations that last longer than a week, it might make more sense to shut the A/C off for the duration of your trip to avoid unnecessarily cooling your house for a long period of time. 

Weather Forecast

As many Texas residents know, the weather can be an unpredictable force to reckon with! However, the local forecast can help you decide whether to leave your A/C on while on vacation or not. If the weather is predicted to be rainy, cloudy, or lower average temperatures than weeks past, you can plan to leave your A/C on, but at a lower capacity as it shouldn’t be needed to maintain indoor temperature with the assistance of the colder weather.

Similarly, if you’re expected to get extremely hot or sunny days while going on vacation, you may want to consider turning the A/C off for the duration of your trip to avoid the A/C unnecessarily adjusting to the temperature increase.

Type of Thermostat

The type of thermostat you have can definitely have an impact on your decision of whether to turn the A/C off during vacation. If you have a programmable thermostat, you may be able to remotely control it, or pre-program it for the time you’ll be away from home. Having a smart thermostat can greatly help maintain efficiency and temperature balance without incurring drastic jumps and dips in temperature that could increase costs.

If you have a manual thermostat, you may want to adjust it so that it doesn’t use as much energy while you’re gone – that could mean turning up the temperature so the A/C doesn’t kick in as often. For unreliable thermostats or ones that require daily monitoring/adjustment, you may get more bang for your buck by turning off the A/C while on vacation.

While there’s no one right answer to whether or not you should leave your A/C running while on vacation, there are certain steps you can take to ensure you make the right decision. For a personalized recommendation, or for a pre-vacation maintenance check, Max Mechanical can provide peace of mind for all your HVAC needs. Give us a call or schedule a service today!

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