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What are the best vacation settings for your thermostat in Raleigh, NC?

Should I Turn Off My Air Conditioner When on Vacation?

It’s summertime! and it’s time to pack your bags, get the kids ready, stop the mail, and take the dog to the kennel – it’s vacation time! Maybe you are heading to the beach, or you might like the mountains. Whatever you prefer, it’s a great opportunity to spend quality time with your family, rest, relax, and enjoy time away from work. 

If you’re a planner like me, you make a “To Do” list for your vacation: 

  • Hire a dog sitter. Check.
  • Stop your mail. Check.
  • Go to the library and pick out a new book. Check.
  • Finish off the leftovers in the refrigerator. Check.
  • Turn off the air conditioner. Wait….. Should you check this off your list?

Many people may think that turning off your air conditioner is a good idea when going on vacation. Why not? It saves energy, so it saves you money right??  Sounds good; however, there are even better reasons why you should leave it on, but maybe turn up the temperature a few degrees.

High Humidity in Raleigh

Here in the Triangle, you’re used to hot and humid summers. The air feels thick and you feel sticky every time you walk outside. 

Humidity enters into your home when you open the door, through poorly sealed and leaky ductwork, and poorly insulated windows and doors.

Your air conditioner is your best line of defense against the humid conditions in your home. While some homes employ dehumidifiers, most homes can be cool and comfortable without them. That’s your air conditioner at work. An efficient air conditioner; with the proper run or operation time, will reduce humidity and cool your home. 

If you turn off your air conditioner; even if only for a few days, the humidity will build up in your home and feel stifling when you return. Too much humidity in a home contributes to microbial and bacteria growth and is bad for your floors and furniture.

Too Much Heat Build-up Leads to Hard Work For Your A/C in Raleigh

If you turn off your air conditioner in the summer for days at a time, the temperature in your home can reach the upper eighties to nineties when you return. Your air conditioner will have to work harder than it should to try to reach your desired temperatures. Not only will it take a while for it to cool your home, but it’s not good for your air conditioner.  It will have to work harder than normal. Also, it’s not very energy efficient for your air conditioning system. It’s far better for the air conditioner to maintain temperatures than to have to drastically cool your home. Did you know your air conditioner uses more energy each time it starts versus having it running consistently?  It takes so much more energy to cool your home when the A/C has not been running for an extended period of time. So, turning off the air conditioner won’t actually save energy.  It could actually cost you more!

So What Do You Do?

Turn up the temperature in your home a few degrees, look at five to eight degrees. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can set your thermostat to begin cooling your home before you even make it home. Keep your blinds and curtains closed to keep out the direct sunlight. Lastly, enjoy your vacation!  If you have more questions, please contact one of the professionals at Delta Heating & Cooling in Raleigh, NC