When vacations beckon, we often gather clothes, cameras and other items we’ll need to make a trip enjoyable. But preparing a home is an important step that often gets overlooked. Of course, it’s important to lock the doors and windows, and turn on the alarm. But what should you do about the air conditioning or the water heater?
Following these home tips will prevent unpleasant surprises when you open the door after a couple of weeks away.
- Check around the home and make repairs before you go. If you suspect problems with your air conditioning or furnace, get them checked out.
- Turn down the water heater. Saving energy doesn’t mean you have to come home to cold water. Check the thermostat at the base of the heater. If it has a vacation setting, use it. If not, lower the temperature as far as possible without shutting the heater down.
- Turn up the thermostat. Even though temperatures can get uncomfortably warm here in San Diego, you can save energy and money by keeping the house warmer than normal when you’re away. With a programmable thermostat, you can set the air conditioner to kick in at 78 degrees a few hours before your return. According to U.S. Department of Energy estimates, programming the thermostat can save 5-15 percent annually on energy bills.
- Turn off the ceiling fan. A fan cools by creating a chilling effect but it doesn’t lower the room temperature. Therefore, save energy and money by turning it off until you return.
- Close the curtains. Window treatments can block heat during the height of the day and keep prying eyes from peering into an empty home. Using timers to control lights and other appliances makes the home look occupied.
Need more home tips before heading for vacation? Want to talk to an HVAC expert about any issues related to your heating and cooling systems? Contact ASI Hastings Heating and Air Conditioning.