How to Prepare HVAC & Home for Summer Vacation

May 6, 2024

A few strategies can help keep your home safe and your AC in proper operating shape while you’re away. In this article, we’ll uncover what temperature to set your air conditioner while away in the summer as well as how professional maintenance from Service Champions and other actions can help.

Set AC Thermostat Temperature for Vacation

Turning off your AC while you’re away may seem like a sensical way to save energy and utility costs while you’re away. But in many cases, the opposite is true — turning your AC off during a hot California summer can result in high energy consumption and increase the risk of damage to your home. Without AC, heat and humidity can accumulate in your home and provide an ideal setting for mold, fungus, dust mites, and other invasive insects and cause damage to your home. When you return home and turn the AC back on, it has to work that much harder to remove the set-in heat, causing unnecessary wear and over-energy consumption.

Keeping your AC on and correctly setting your thermostat can help regulate your home’s air temperature and humidity. In addition to keeping your home’s structure safe, proper air regulation helps prevent harm to heat or moisture-vulnerable belongings, such as electronics, artwork, houseplants, and textiles. This is especially important if your pets stay behind while you’re on vacation as extreme temperatures can be life-threatening.

Optimal home temperature in summer

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, between 68 and 70 degrees is the optimal indoor air temperature to balance comfort and efficiency when you’re home. When you’re away, you can set your thermostat anywhere from 75 to 80 degrees to ensure your home receives adequate cooling and humidity control but uses less energy than when you’re home.

Certain variables may affect the ideal temperature of your home. Consider air circulation, insulation, weather forecasts, the number of windows, your thermostat’s location, and other factors to find the correct thermostat setting.

Programmable thermostat perks

Programmable thermostats allow you to set temperatures based on when you’re home, away, sleeping, or other household habits. Most modern programmable thermostats are smartphone-compatible and enable you to update your settings whenever and wherever.

If your thermostat already has a scheduled program, you may need to override it while you’re away. In addition to adjusting your home’s temperature and humidity while you’re away, you can also set it to cool for the day you arrive back home.

Pre-Vacation HVAC Maintenance

Reduce the risk of breakdown and improve efficiency with proper attention to your HVAC system.

Change air filters

Whether you’re on vacation or relaxing at home, swapping your air filters approximately every three months or as needed can help optimize your HVAC system’s efficiency. Clean air filters improve air flow, prevent debris buildup and mold growth, and purify your home’s air.

Inspect outdoor unit

Regularly inspect and clean your outdoor AC unit to maintain optimal performance between professional services. With your system turned off, remove large debris on or around the unit, and use a vacuum with a soft-brush attachment to remove buildup from the condenser fins. You can also gently hose the unit down to remove grass, leaves, and other debris.

Consider a professional tune-up

Regular HVAC maintenance services can keep your AC running smoothly and efficiently and help prevent breakdowns. Yearly AC service, ideally in the spring, prepares your AC for high use during the hot summer months and identifies necessary repairs before they escalate into expensive headaches.

Our Maintenance Value Plan includes regular AC maintenance and can provide you with peace-of-mind. In addition to keeping your manufacturer warranties intact and your heating and air conditioning systems running at peak performance, our plan also provides access to premium service, priority response, and discounts on repairs.

Beyond the AC: Summer Home Prep

The following steps can help keep your home in good condition while you’re away.

Prevent water damage

Before a vacation, check for leaky faucets, appliances, and other water fixture attachments to prevent pooling and water damage to your home. Turn off the main water supply to your home if you don’t need running water while you’re away. 

Save energy

Unplug and turn off electronics you don’t need running while on vacation. Electronics such as your television, microwave, fans, and chargers can draw electricity even when not in use. Don’t unplug important appliances such as your fridge or freezer.

Closing shades and blinds can help block out the sun’s rays, prevent warming in your home by up to 33%, and improve energy efficiency. Properly insulated and sealed doors and windows can likewise prevent warm air from leaking into your home.

Other pre-vacation tasks

Don’t forget basic maintenance and cleaning around your home. The following tasks can help prevent pests, rodents, and mold and keep your home secure:

  • Lock all doors and windows

  • Water plants

  • Run the dishwasher

  • Check for fire hazards

  • Provide a spare key to someone you trust

  • Clean old food from the fridge

  • Take out the garbage

  • Empty the washing machine

  • Set your home’s security system on

Keep Your Home Cool During Summer with AC Services from Service Champions

You shouldn’t have to stress about what temperature to set your thermostat in summer when you’re planning a relaxing vacation away from California.  

Customers throughout the East Bay, South Bay, and Sacramento areas know Service Champions for trustworthy and reliable heating and air conditioning service. Plus, we offer financing, so you never have to compromise on your budget. Contact us today or book online to get started.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I close air vents to save energy?

Don’t close or obstruct your AC’s air vents. This can imbalance the pressure of your system and result in inefficient cooling and heating and unnecessary wear.

What does professional AC maintenance include?

Professional AC maintenance tasks include an in-depth inspection, cleaning, and lubrication of parts. Your technician will test and calibrate various components of your system during the service.

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