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Should I Turn Off My Air Conditioning Unit While I’m On Vacation?


Before getting in the family car to head off to that special vacation destination, one question that many homeowners might be asking themselves besides “Do I have everything?!” could be: “Should I turn my AC off?”

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Finding the correct answer to “Should I turn off my air conditioning unit while I’m on vacation?” can be difficult because doing this comes with both its pros and cons. However, if you were to ask us here at Hutchinson Plumbing Heating Cooling, we would say: Do not turn it off. Why?

Well, let’s look at some reasons why you might want to keep it on in the first place.

You have pets and it’s going to be hot and humid while you are away.

Even though their ancestors spent the majority of their time roaming outside, dogs, cats, and other domesticated animals have become accustomed to living in air conditioning. Also, although dogs keep themselves cool by panting, and cats (when very hot) do the same thing, being in an environment with excessive heat and humidity—especially for a long period of time—can put them at risk.

You do not want to be exposed to mold, mildew, or any musty odors and smells.

Besides keeping you cool, an air conditioner also removes humidity from your home. If you turn it off and the weatherman says it’s going to be humid while you’re on vacation, doing so could damage the stability of your home. Having a home full of humid air could instigate mold growth, cause your paint to peel, and warp your wood furniture.

You own certain electronics/appliances that you would rather not unplug.

While we certainly suggest unplugging all electronics, some people outright refuse. Also, mostly everyone keeps their refrigerator on while they are away. If there are any electronics and/or appliances that you need to keep on while you are on vacation, be aware that these are going to generate heat, and make your home even hotter while you are away.

All three of three reasons we mentioned above are usually why people leave their units on, and why we also suggest you leave it on as well.

There is no denying that leaving your air conditioning unit on while you are away also has it cons—the top one being that you’re essentially paying for something that you aren’t even using. But, one way to save money—as well as keep your home comfortable and free of mold/mildew growth—is to turn up the thermostat on your AC unit. While you are out, there is no need to keep the temperature the way it is when you are home—you just need to set it to one that is higher. We also suggest setting the temperature to be around 80-85 degrees because not only will this keep your home free humidity, but this is often a temperature that the insides of homes hover around during the summer anyway!

If you would like to hear more about getting your home and AC unit “vacation ready,” please do not hesitate to reach out to us!