July is the most popular month for summer vacations. If you are planning on traveling this summer, don’t forget the important things, such as turning off lights, locking doors, and preparing your HVAC system for your absence.
Change the Thermostat Temperature
It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to raise the temperature on the thermostat when they are leaving on vacation.
For those with programmable or smart thermostats, you will need to manually override the schedule in order to keep the temperature set while you are away.
It’s important to set the temperature correctly to prevent heat and moisture problems while also saving money and energy. Although you may get away with it, you don’t want to turn the system completely off.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you should set your thermostat to 85-90 degrees F when leaving on vacation. But, that can be too high a temperature for many homes.
We recommend setting your thermostat to no higher than 85 degrees F to protect furniture, electronics, and other sensitive equipment. If you have wine, expensive art, and other temperature sensitive objects, it’s best to set the temperature to 80 degrees F.
Change the Air Filter
Although nobody will be home to experience the air filtration benefits of a new air filter, it’s a good idea to change the air filter anyway. A clean air filter will increase the airflow and efficiency of your HVAC system while also helping to clean the indoor air for your arrival.
Clean or replace your air filters every 30-60 days.
Learn more about air filters and indoor air quality.
Dust and Clean the House
In the rush to get out the door, don’t forget to clear out the perishables and garbage from your home. Regularly dusting and cleaning will improve your indoor air quality while also increasing the efficiency of your hVAC system.
Here are some spring cleaning tips to help.
Protect Your Houseplants
Houseplants are a great way to boost the mood and air quality inside your home. Don’t let all your hard work go to waste by letting them shrivel up and die while away on vacation.
While most plants can survive for a couple of days without water, make sure you give all the plants a little watering before you leave. If you are away from home for more than 3-4 days, ask a neighbor to check-in on the plants and water them if needed. There are also several self-watering systems available at your local home improvement store or online.
Close Doors, Windows, and Shades
Prevent air leaks, energy inefficiencies, and home break-ins by remembering to close and lock all of your doors and windows. If you notice any severe air leaks, get them fixed and sealed before you leave.
After you have securely closed all entry points, go around the home and close all, or most, of your interior and exterior window shades. This includes awnings, shutters, blinds, curtains, and window overhangs. If any of your windows are missing shades, you can drape a light-colored blanket or sheet on the side facing out and a darker-colored blanket facing in.
By closing your interior and exterior shades, you can reduce solar heat gain by around 50% (U.S. Department of Energy).
Learn more about increasing heating and cooling efficiency.
Sign Up for a Home Maintenance Plan
Prevent minor HVAC problems from turning into expensive headaches. Sign up for our MVP (Maintenance Value Plan) to automate your professional HVAC cleanings and tune-ups. This will keep your manufacturer warranties intact and your heating and air conditioning systems running at peak performance.
Additional Precautions Before Leaving on Vacation:
- Place newspapers and mail on hold.
- Remove the spare key from under the mat/flower pot.
- Turn off the water heater (if you have the traditional tank type).
- Unplug electronics, appliances, and lamps.
- Take out the garbage and empty the washing machine.
Now sit back, relax, and have a great vacation!
Service Champions is known for trustworthy, on-time heating and air conditioning service throughout the East Bay, South Bay, and Sacramento areas.
We look forward to hearing from you.