What Is the Best Temperature to Set the AC to While Away?

by | Jul 27, 2021 | HVAC San Antonio

Summer is the time of year when many San Antonio families hit the road or take to the skies on vacation. Getting away from home can provide a much-needed change of pace and ample relaxation, but it’s important to take care of the house even while you’re gone. Before you leave town, figure out the best temperature to set your air conditioning system while you’re away to save energy and protect your residence.

What to Do About Your Air Conditioner When Away

When your whole family is leaving town, it doesn’t make sense to waste energy cooling a home. Many homeowners assume it is best to just turn the air conditioner off when out of town. Before you flip that switch and shut down your cooling system, though, learn why that’s not a great idea.

Turning off your air conditioning system will instantly cut cooling costs, but it could cause damage to your home. You see, when your air conditioner is off, humidity poses a greater risk to your house. Air conditioners work to keep high humidity at bay, and by turning your AC off, you’ve just robbed your home of that protection!

If you turn your air conditioner off, you could come home to some serious humidity-related issues such as:

  • Mold growth
  • Musty odors
  • Peeling paint and wallpaper
  • Damaged woodwork
  • Damaged electronics

With the air conditioner completely turned off, indoor temperatures can also become very hot. These conditions can stress out your refrigerator and/or freezer. These appliances may use more energy to keep food cold, or they could suffer too much stress and give out altogether, spoiling your food. 

What’s the Best Temperature to Set Your AC While Away?

Instead of turning your cooling system off entirely while you’re on vacation, it’s best to simply turn up the temperature setting but leave the system on. Set the thermostat at a higher point than usual to save energy and avoid cooling an empty house, but still ensuring the air conditioner will come on once conditions become too hot.

The best AC temperature to set your AC while you’re away is no higher than 85 degrees. Long periods with the temperature set higher than normal will help you save money on cooling costs. To determine the best temperature setting while you’re out of town, look at the expected high and set the thermostat a few degrees lower. This will ensure the cooling system kicks on a few times each day to control humidity and keep temperatures in a safe range without wasting energy on unnecessary cooling, which can raise your energy bill.

If you have pets staying home while you’re on vacation, you’ll want to set a lower temperature than if the home were completely empty. Generally, temperatures should never rise above 80 degrees when pets are present, but every pet has different needs. Animals such as long-haired cats may need a cooler environment, for example. Check with your vet to determine the best temperature for the safety of your pets.

Use the Right Settings

When you set your thermostat before leaving town, use the “hold” or vacation feature on your programmable thermostat. This feature allows you to temporarily pause programmed settings and override them while you’re out of the home. Then, when you return, you can easily switch the feature off, and your home will return to your preferred settings. With these features, you never have to disrupt your programmed temperature schedules.

Summer Cooling Help from ASC

ASC Heating & Air can help keep your home comfortable all summer long, whether you’re home or out of town. Turn to our team for air conditioning services that improve energy efficiency and help you save money. Call us today to schedule service.

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