Put Your HVAC System On Vacation Mode While Away
Prepare Your HVAC System for Summer Vacation
Vacations can be scheduled at any time of the year. It is refreshing and invigorating to get away from day-to-day stressful routines, reconnect with your favorite people, and see new sights.
In the days before you leave, you scurry around, making last-minute preparations for the place you call home: have the mailman hold your mail, mow the lawn right before you leave and make sure the trash is picked up. What should you do to make sure your HVAC system protects your home while you are gone?
Preventative HVAC System Maintenance
If your HVAC system has not been serviced in a while, call your heating and air conditioning professional to ensure you have no surprises while you are gone. Annual preventative maintenance is recommended by the manufacturer.
Your technician will clean components you typically cannot reach, make minor repairs, and make sure little problems don’t become big problems. A break-down, while you are away, can taint the enjoyment of your trip.
Check the condensation drain on your air conditioner (AC) unit. The AC removes humidity from the indoor air by condensation. You can find the condensation drain—a drip or stream of water exits the AC unit and is often visible.
If the drain is dirty and clogs, water will back up and leak around the AC unit. If you are gone for a while this water can cause damage to floors, walls, and furniture.
Visually inspect the supply and return vents to make sure nothing is blocked. Open vents are important during normal, day-to-day household routines. If the HVAC system is slowed while you’re on vacation, proper ventilation is even more important.
Check the outdoor, AC compressor unit to make sure there is no debris blocking good airflow. Wash the sides with a garden hose to remove dust and dirt from the ventilation fans.
Keep your windows and blinds closed while you are away. This prevents snooping eyes and reduces solar gain from sunlight.
It is tempting to turn the AC off completely; why should you cool the house while no one is home? The HVAC serves other functions that need to continue whether you are home or not. It filters the indoor air continually as the air cycles. It also removes humidity and moisture from the air that could gather on walls, furniture, drapes, and clothes, which in turn damages finishes and promotes mold and mildew growth.
The HVAC system needs to cycle a few hours per day to cool and dehumidify indoor space. A good rule of thumb is to set the thermostat a few degrees lower than the forecasted daily high temperature. This ensures several cooling cycles per day, keeping the temperature cool enough and indoor air humidity between 30 and 50%, which is ideal.
This is also a good time to install a smart thermostat. A smart thermostat is programmable from a cellphone app. It can be set to alert you of problems with HVAC components, changes in indoor temperature, and allow you to cool the house 30 minutes before your return.
HVAC System Summer Maintenance is our Specialty
To help you make the best decision, we’re happy to evaluate the equipment before you leave for your summer vacation and show you the best HVAC System Maintenance plan in place for your home. Give us a call today.