About 100 million Americans go on at least one vacation annually. Air conditioning is an essential part of most homes today. So when going away, the question is, what is the best temperature setting for the AC? You have to consider several factors. Here is an outline of some adjustments you can make.
The Value of Adjusting the AC Before Your Vacation
Your air conditioner accounts for approximately 12% or more of your home’s energy usage. So when you are going on a vacation, it can be tempting to turn the system off altogether.
But EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) recommends leaving your AC running, especially when going on long vacations. Your home and valuables can deteriorate as a result of a lack of air conditioning.
Some parts of the property may succumb to microbial growth due to exposure to moisture and high temperatures. Mold and mildew are a few of the contaminants that can thrive in unconditioned spaces. When you return, the heat and humidity will diminish the indoor air quality.
When the summer heat hits 70 degrees Fahrenheit, it can begin to warp the wood and peel the paint on the drywall. Your refrigerator may run continuously, drawing more energy than necessary you’re your system. Also, some sensors and electronic devices are sensitive to extreme temperatures.
Ideal Temperature Settings While You Are Away
The ideal temperature settings for your home will depend on several factors. The most critical factors are energy efficiency and regulating the indoor conditions to preserve your home.
You can raise the thermostat settings by about five degrees to balance temperature regulation and power consumption. Professional HVAC technicians recommend a range of between 80 and 83 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can prevent your AC from constantly running by shading spaces in direct sunlight. So, you should make a point of closing the blinds before leaving your home. Otherwise, the ambient heat from the sun will heat the interior while you are on vacation.
Electronics can also generate considerable amounts of heat. They can also draw electrical power even when they are on standby. It is advisable to switch off or unplug devices to manage your utility bills while on vacation.
Thermostat Settings for Pets
It is worth noting that the ideal thermostat settings will depend on your preferences and specific needs. If you have dogs, you’ll need to adjust the thermostat since high temperatures over 80 degrees can be harmful to them.
The best temperature settings for dogs are between 75 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Larger pups with thick coats may prefer a 72 to 75 degrees range. Additionally, smaller and underweight pets are susceptible to lower temperatures.
The ideal temperature will also vary depending on the breed or species of your pet. Birds have different needs from larger animals such as dogs. However, keep your AC running around regular temperatures and ensure your pets have plenty of cool water.
In terms of your pet comfort, fans may not be helpful. The way dogs and cats regulate heat is different than humans. The air circulating through the room may not have the same cooling effect.
Best AC Settings While Asleep
You can raise the temperatures by 4 degrees at night. But that will depend on your preferences. Studies show that the ideal temperature is 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
Exposure to temperatures several degrees above that range can disrupt your sleep cycle. The body needs to cool down as you get ready for bed. Some people can still get into a deep sleep at warmer temperatures.
In that case, increasing the thermostat setting by a few points can save energy and provide night-time comfort. You can use fans to circulate air and assist the body in regulating heat as you sleep.
Best Humidity Settings for Comfort and Energy Savings
One of the reasons you should keep the AC running while you are away is to control moisture. The air conditioner will keep air circulating through the evaporator coils, condensing the vapor to water. In turn, the condensate pan collects and drains the water away.
However, humidity levels can go above 80% in San Antonio. The ideal humidity range is between 30% and 50%, according to EPA. Below the 30% mark, the air is too dry and may cause skin rashes and respiratory problems. Higher than 50% and the moisture can cause mold and mildew to spread throughout the building.
One solution is to acquire a dehumidifier to protect your valuables. A dehumidifier will ensure there are no musty odors when you return from your vacation. It stops dust buildup and maintains the indoor air quality.
Acquiring a dehumidifier is a wise investment for protecting your equipment. By reducing moisture saturation, it prevents your air conditioner from overworking. You can talk to Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating’s team in San Antonio for dependable indoor air quality solutions.
Why You Should Consider Using a Smart Thermostat
The best way to manage temperatures while you are away is to use a smart thermostat. The device not only makes regulating heat indoors convenient, but it is also more precise in managing settings.
With a smart thermostat, you can set the temperatures higher for the time you’ll be away. You can have other configurations, for example, for when you will be getting back to the house. The device will signal your AC to start cooling a few hours before you step through the door.
Some devices can take up to 30 settings. Depending on the model, it can learn your patterns and adjust even without your input. With Wi-Fi capabilities, you can check up on your AC while you are in a remote location far away from home.
Some systems can generate energy usage reports you can access wherever you go. You can use the data to determine if your system is running efficiently.
You can opt for a smart device to enjoy additional conveniences like access through a smartphone. But you ought to keep in mind that some devices may not work with your home automation system. You may want to consult a professional for assistance before installing a thermostat. Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating’s team in San Antonio will be glad to guide you through the process.
How to Keep Your AC Efficient Throughout the Season
While you should keep your AC running, you wouldn’t want it to break down while you are away. If you’ve not scheduled a tune-up in the last six months, it is advisable to organize a service before you go. At Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating, we recommend HVAC maintenance at least twice a year in San Antonio.
Make a point of cleaning and replacing your filter once a month to keep the AC running efficiently. A maintenance service will eliminate grime and dirt from intricate components like the evaporator coils. A professional will also refill the refrigerant and repair leakages that could compromise your system’s performance.
For dependable AC maintenance, repair, and installation, you can turn to our NATE-certified technicians. We can offer prompt 24-hour emergency service that you can trust. Our BBB accredited team can assist you in preparing your equipment for the hot season ahead. Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating’s team in San Antonio has a reputation for professionalism and for working fast and efficiently. Contact us today for a 100% satisfaction guarantee for all our services.