Most homeowners are looking for ways to lower their AC use during the summer, but especially when they’re away on vacation. Rather than turning off the AC, here are a few steps you can take.
Use a smart thermostat
A smart thermostat will automatically set an optimal temperature when in vacation mode. It will raise the temperature but still run on regular intervals. Some smart thermostats are even equipped with motion sensors to detect when the home is empty and automatically make temperature adjustments. This will help reduce energy costs but still ensure the home’s internal temperature is comfortable once you return.
Raise the temperature
If you don’t have a smart thermostat, then set the temperature five degrees higher than usual. This will help you save significant energy without turning the home into a toaster oven.
If you set the thermostat seven to 10 degrees warmer for at least eight hours per day, you could save up to 10% on your utility bill.
Close the shades
Whether you’re home or on vacation, keep the shades closed during the day to block heat from sunlight streaming through the windows. Keeping the windows covered will reduce the load on the AC, lowering energy consumption. Medium-colored shades with white plastic backings can help reduce heat gains by as much as 33%.
Install window awnings
Exterior shades could further reduce heat generated by sun rays streaming through your windows. Awnings can reduce solar heat gain up to 77% on west-facing windows and up to 65% on south-facing windows. Make sure the awnings are opaque and tightly woven for maximum impact.
Use a dehumidifier
During months of high humidity, consider using a portable dehumidifier. A dehumidifier will ease the load on your AC by pulling in moist air and releasing drier air into the home.
Schedule a professional HVAC inspection
It’s a good idea to schedule a professional HVAC inspection before you leave for vacation. A licensed HVAC technician could identify potential problems and take care of them in advance, so you don’t have to risk coming home to a broken AC system. A Tucker Hill HVAC technician could also offer tips for increasing your system’s efficiency year round.
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