Best AC setting for when you go on vacation


We’re all working hard these days in anticipation of a little R&R, which for most of us means that magic word – vacation.

We’ve been receiving some calls lately from homeowners wondering how to set their air conditioner when they get ready to leave town. Arizona and Nevada are expected to hit record heat levels this year, and they worry about how stuffy their homes will be while they are away. At the same time, they want to take advantage of some energy savings while no one is around to enjoy the cool indoor air.

Let’s talk for a second about some of the options to consider when you’re getting ready to hit the road.

Vacation A/C Temperature Setting

It’s important to follow the Goldilocks rule when adjusting the air conditioner for an extended time away. If you set your a/c too cool, you could actually cause mold or mildew to form, although this is less likely in the low humidity environment of Arizona and Nevada.

But, if you set your air conditioner too low, you might come home to some furniture damage – not to mention making your plants pretty unhappy. Furniture damage could include warping as the wood dries out. Your home will also take on a nasty musty smell that will linger after you get home.

So the Goldilocks rule is to set your air conditioner not too high or too low when you go on vacation, but just right. “Right” in this case, is about 80 or 85 degrees. How do we know this? Well, there’s research.

The Florida Solar Energy Center conducted a study to evaluate the impact of air conditioner settings on vacant homes to determine the perfect temperature setting for your home when you go away. They concluded a setting of around 85 degrees is appropriate for most short-term vacation situations. One note about this research, of course, is that Florida is unbelievably humid in the summer. Still, even in the high desert, the answer is to place your thermostat at an average of about 80 degrees before you leave home.

Let Your Thermostat Do the Work

One option to consider all year round is the purchase and installation of a programmable thermostat. These handy little devices aren’t very expensive and they’re an easy install. The benefit is you can set the machine’s computer to adjust the indoor temperature to fit your lifestyle or how you use your home. For example, if everyone is out of the house (including pets) during the day, you could set the program to stay a little warmer in during the day. If you make sure your curtains are closed, that will help keep the temperature down.

Some programmable thermostats can even be controlled remotely from a Smartphone, thanks to the magic of our Wi-Fi connections. Some of the most sophisticated models allow you to control specific zones in your home – which we think is (pun intended) super cool.

For more advice and support, call Ambient Edge today. If you’d like to talk about a programmable thermostat, just five us a ring; we’re here to help!

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