If you’re planning on leaving town during the hottest summer months in Phoenix, you may be on the fence about what to do with your house. If you leave your AC running while you’re away, you could come home to unexpectedly high power bills. However, if you don’t leave your AC on, you’ll be coming home to an overheated house. The good news is that there are some ways to protect your house without breaking the bank.
Program Your Thermostat
One of the first things you should do before you leave for vacation is programming your thermostat. You can set your AC to only run during certain times of the day, or only on certain days of the week. More importantly, you can set the temperature a little higher than you would normally have it if you were home, but low enough that it won’t be stifling when you get back. This way your AC is doing a minimal amount of cooling to keep the house safe without being overworked. Then, when you arrive you can return your thermostat to its regular settings and it should only take an hour or two to cool your house back down for daily living.
Even better, if you’re taking advantage of the latest smart home products, you could check in on your home throughout your vacation and manually adjust the thermostat before you head back home so it’ll be nice and cool when you arrive.
If you’re not sure how much to turn up your thermostat, just keep in mind that experts estimate every one degree of temperature is equivalent to 2-3% of your total power bill during the summer. Even raising the temperature five degrees while you’re away could reduce your total power bill by 10-15%.
Check Your Windows
Windows and doors are the parts of the house that tend to be most inefficient. They let in UV rays from the sun and they let cool air escape through the cracks. You can really improve the effectiveness of your AC unit and protect your home by checking your windows before you leave. First, make sure that all windows are tightly shut and sealed. If you notice drafts, you can purchase seal kits to help close up any leaky areas. You can also install door sweeps along the bottom of doors to prevent air from escaping that way. Next, if your windows are not treated to keep UV rays out, you can purchase temporary film that will help block out the sun and keep your house cooler. Finally, installing blinds and drapes is the last defense between your home and the sun. With all of these measures in place, your AC unit will have significantly less work to do.
Do Not Turn Off Your AC
If you plan on being away for several weeks or even the entire summer, it might be tempting to shut off your AC altogether. Experts warn against this because of the damage it could cause in your house. Your air conditioning unit does more than just cooling off the air inside. It also helps manage the humidity in your house and circulates the air so it doesn’t get stale. If you have your house sealed up tight and then you shut off your AC, you could come back to a whole host of problems caused by hot ultra dry air sitting in your home. Not only will it be very dry when you open the door, you’ll also notice that doors, cabinets, and flooring may have warped due to the humidity. These can be extremely costly to repair once the damage is done.
Typically programming your AC to keep your house just below 85 degrees is sufficient to keep the air moving regularly and prevent the air from getting to dry, even when the outside temperature exceeds 100 degrees.
Plan for Efficiency
If you know your appliances are aging, it could be time to opt for a new AC unit. An Energy Star rated AC could drastically improve efficiency overnight. These units will require less maintenance after a long summer’s workload and they will cost less to operate while you’re away. You’ll save money at every turn.
Another part of efficiency is making sure that you call for your annual Phoenix AC service appointment before the weather heats up too much. A properly maintained system will perform more efficiently and keep you from having to make major repairs in the near future.
Now that you know how to protect your home before you leave for summer vacation, it’s time to call Day and Night Air for your annual service appointment. We can help get your AC unit ready to fend off the rising heat and keep your home safe while you’re away.