October 1st, 2017

A Guide to Running Your AC While on Vacation

Many people go on vacation in the summertime, and this leaves them wondering what they should do about their air conditioning when they are gone. Do they let it run, do they turn it off? Is it going to make the air conditioning run harder when they come back if they turn it off completely? Below are some tips that you can use to help you know what you should do with your AC while you’re gone.

Should Your AC be Turned Off While You’re Gone?

The short answer is no. But there is a few steps that you should take so that you are saving energy.

Clean your air filters

Dirt will destroy the efficiency of your air conditioner. You should change the filter before leaving and think about scheduling a maintenance visit prior to your trip if this hasn’t already done

Shut the house down

Close all of your windows and doors properly, along with curtains, storm shutters and blinds. These will help your house stay secure but they’ll also help with keeping your AC running efficiently. When your home is closed properly, it will help with preventing the waste of energy and saving money since it will help with shielding your home from the sun.


Reduce the load on your cooling and heating by disconnecting appliances and electronics when you’re not home. Even if items aren’t being used, it can cause heat and make the AC work harder. If you’re going away for a very long time, you should maybe clean out your refrigerator and unplug it as well as your freezer.

Think about buying a thermostat you can program

If you don’t want to come back to a really hot house, that programmable thermostat will help you with being more comfortable. It’s going to adjust your home’s temperature automatically based on the settings and schedule you pre-program. There are even thermostats that you can program with your smart phone.

Think about the length of your trip when you’re considering settings

This is a good option when you’re at work and no one is at home. it’s recommended by the EPA that you adjust the temperature settings on the thermostat to help you with saving money. It’s a good idea to set your thermostat about 10-15 degrees cooler when you aren’t at home to help you with saving money.

Going away for a while?

if this is the case, you should turn the AC off before leaving. This isn’t going to make your AC work harder once you come back. It’s going to save you money and energy. This is because they’re more efficient and give you better dehumidification when they’re working full-speed. When they’re turning off and on and going for short periods at low speeds so that the temperature in your empty house is maintained is going to use up more energy.

Going for the weekend?

If you’re just going overnight or for the weekend, go halfway between your normal temperature and the 85 degrees. If you’re usually running it around 72 or so, take it to 80 before leaving.

Special cases

If it’s 90 or above outside, your home’s interior could go to the triple digits, along with reaching high levels of humidity. If you’re in areas where the humidity and heat are a big problem, it might be a good idea to leave it running and just keep it at 85. This will help with preventing mildew and mold growing. It also should preserve items that are sensitive to temperature like wine and artwork.

If you are going away, think about how long you’ll be gone and then choose the right setting for you. A thermostat that you can program or one that you can change using your phone is also a good idea. They’ll help you save money in the long run and help your house be more comfortable when you return.

Need Help? Talk to An Expert!

Our goal is to help educate our HVAC customers in the Port Charlotte and Charlotte County, Florida area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC, Heating and Air Conditioning systems).

If you are contemplating having your air conditioning repaired, Contact Dales Heating and Air Conditioning by calling (941) 629-1712 or by filling out our secure Contact Form.