Summer Vacation HVAC Settings: Cooling Your Home While You’re Away

 In Keeping Cool, Summer Topics

Getting ready to head out on summer vacation? Florida residents know that HVAC bills can skyrocket during the warm summer months, and you don’t want to waste money cooling an empty house while you’re away.  

Don’t just shut off your air conditioning altogether when you leave, though – there’s a safe range where you can set your HVAC without risking damage to your home.  Here are some preparation tips and the HVAC settings to use before you and your family depart for summer fun in the sun.  

Schedule a Tune Up 

You’ve packed your bag, stocked up on sunscreen and picked out the perfect beach read – but did you remember to schedule annual HVAC maintenance? One of the best things you can do for your HVAC is to plan ahead and schedule a tune-up before your summer travel plans.  

Having an HVAC technician check out your system can help identify any issues that might arise while you’re gone – issues that could potentially be costly if you don’t catch them right away.   

It can be hard to remember to schedule these important appointments, which is why many homeowners choose to sign up for a program such as Barineau Heating and Air Conditioning’s Total Comfort Service Program. These programs allow you to receive discounts and other perks while making sure the annual appointment doesn’t drop off your radar.  

Inspect Your Home  

In addition to scheduling an annual inspection, there are steps you can take as a homeowner to prepare your HVAC before you leave on vacation. 

Go outside and look around your unit before you depart. Are there any trees, bushes or other debris crowding it? There should be at least one foot of clearance all the way around. The same goes for something like a garden rake leaning against it or a trash bin placed too close by. It’s a good idea to check this out and remove anything that shouldn’t be there.  

Also check on your system inside the house. Some people believe it’s better to close vents in rooms that are not being used, particularly during vacation. However, his can end up costing you more money in the long run. You should open the vents in your home because rooms with closed vents will become warmer, and your HVAC unit will work harder to cool them down. Check that all your vents are open to help your HVAC run efficiently while you’re away.  

Set Your Thermostat: HVAC Settings for Vacation 

Knowing the proper HVAC settings for the warm summer months is an important part of preparing your home for an extended absence. You can generally set the thermostat to a higher temperature to conserve energy while you’re away (unless any furry friends will be staying there – read more on this below). A recommended temperature range is around 85-88°F and not any higher to prevent excessive heat buildup in the home.   

If your two-story home has a zoned HVAC system, set the upstairs thermostat to a slightly higher temperature than the downstairs area (but still nothing above 85-88°F) to account for the natural heat rise in multi-story homes.  

Of course, if you have pets staying behind with a sitter, you will need to set the thermostat comfortably for them. Leave instructions, or even send a quick text, to ensure your sitter knows how to work the thermostat and adjust it as needed. Don’t set your thermostat at a temperature that will cause your pets to overheat!  

Get Smart with Your HVAC Settings

If you have a smart thermostat, it can be a helpful tool for managing your HVAC during vacation. Because it can be controlled remotely from your phone, you may have the option of getting your home ready for your arrival at the end of the trip. Simply adjust the temperature on your phone while you are on your way home from vacation, perhaps a few hours before you are scheduled to arrive. That will ensure your home is cool and comfortable for your homecoming without wasting extra energy.  

If you don’t have a smart thermostat, now is a great time to consider making the upgrade. These smart devices are an investment as they can help you save money on your energy bills in the long run.  

Keeping You Cool This Summer 

Signing up for an annual service plan helps you save time, money and effort while keeping your HVAC system in top shape. With Barineau Heating and Air Conditioning’s Total Comfort Service Program, you’ll receive a number of cost incentives, such as no overtime charges and a discount on repairs.  

At just $109 per year, the Blue Plan (which includes one 28-point inspection) costs only $20 more than a one-time tune-up, with benefits that quickly pay for themselves. In addition, signing up for an annual plan removes the burden of having to remember annual maintenance appointments. You can rest easy knowing that Barineau has your back and will remind you when it’s time for your appointment. 

Time is money, which is why it’s always great to make the most of yours. Save on both by signing up for the Total Comfort Service Program today or click here to speak with a home comfort specialist. 

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