Before You Go Away On Vacation, Make Sure You HVAC System Is Set And Protected

Posted on: 19 July 2016


Nothing ruins your summer vacation vibe faster than coming home to a broken AC unit or a through-the-roof energy bill. If you plan on leaving your air conditioning on while you're away, there is always a risk that something could go wrong – but you can minimize that risk by following these tips.

Set your thermostat higher.

There's no need to keep your home at a chilly 68 or 70 when you're not there – but you don't want to turn it off completely, or you'll come home to a humid heat-box. Try setting the thermostat at 76 or 78 while you're away. This should ensure you're not greeted with a sweltering heat wave when you return, while also keeping your cooling bills in check. Keeping your temperature higher also prevents your AC unit from having to work quite as hard – and the less it works, the lower your risk of a breakdown.

Replace the filter before you leave.

A lot of AC issues can be traced back to a dirty filter. When the filter gets clogged, debris can build up on the coils, causing the unit to ice over. A dirty filter can even cause the blower motor to overheat, since it has to work harder to push air through a dirty filter than through a clean one. So, replace your old filter with a new one before you leave town; you don't want these issues popping up while you're not around to catch them.

Make sure trees and bushes around your unit are well trimmed.

If a storm blows up while you're away, you don't want it to blow dead branches onto your AC unit. They could physically damage it and also block the airflow. So, take some time to trim any dead or damage branches off of the bushes and shrubs near your outdoor unit. If you have a lot of shrubs, you may want to hire a landscaping expert to come do this for you.

Make sure you have a surge protector.

Your AC unit should not be directly plugged into the wall. It should be plugged into a box, which is a surge protector, and the box should be plugged into the wall. If your AC unit was professionally installed, there should be a surge protector, but it never hurts to check and be sure. If there's a power surge while you're away, the surge protector will prevent the surge from destroying your AC unit's electrical system. If you check and find that you do not have a surge protector, call an electrician to install one before you go away.

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