Extended vacations are wonderful. You get to relax and enjoy yourself for a while. Back at your home, your electronics keep functioning, though. That’s especially true of your HVAC system. You need to prep it for your extended absence. Here’s how to protect your home’s HVAC system while you’re on vacation.
Set Your Thermostat
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Your HVAC system works as intended even when you’re not there. In other words, your heater will turn on even though no one’s home. That’s a waste of energy; it’s also a needless expense on your utility bill. You’re paying for heat that you don’t need. The reverse is true in the summer. Your air conditioner will activate in your absence unless you take steps to stop it.
The easiest strategy is to change your thermostat a few degrees from its current setting. That way, you won’t come home to a scorching or freezing home, depending on the season. Alternatively, you could buy a smart thermostat. These devices save the average home up to $145 per year in energy costs. You can also activate and deactivate your thermostat from your smartphone while you travel. That way, you have the option to change your thermostat back to its correct temperature when you’re ready to return home.
Turn Down the Water Heater
Homeowners interact with their water heaters so rarely that they sometimes forget about the devices. That’s a mistake. Your water heater needs service and repair on occasion. Otherwise, it won’t work well. That’s why you should always hire a professional to handle any repairs.
You can do one important step on your own, though. When you’re going to leave your home for more than three days, you need to lower the temperature on your natural gas water heater. Some devices even have vacation settings. Turning the temperature down will lower the temperature around the water heater so your central AC won’t have to work as hard. If you have an electric water heater, you may want to turn off the circuit breaker while you’re away. Don’t forget to reset it when you get home, though.
Have the System Serviced
No matter how old your HVAC unit is, you need to service it at least once a year. A cluttered or dirty HVAC system won’t function properly. You’ll waste money because it will have to run more to reach the desired temperature.
A repair service expert will know how to restore your HVAC unit to its original installation settings. This professional will clean out all the vents and check for other potential problems in your ventilation system. The repair person will also check the unit to verify that it’s functioning properly. Once you get your unit serviced, you can vacation without having to worry about the safety of your home or HVAC system.
Before you leave, make a quick list of all the electronic devices in your home. Decide which ones you don’t need to work while you’re gone. Unplug these appliances. That way, you’re saving on energy. You’re also lowering the odds of having an electrical fire that could damage your HVAC system — and the rest of your home — while you’re gone.
You want to have a wonderful, carefree trip. As long as you follow the tips above, you won’t have to worry about the HVAC unit or any other appliances in your home.