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What Temperature Do I Set My AC to When I Go On Vacation? A NJ Tech Answers

Jul. 28, 2017
Planning a vacation before school starts back up again?

Here’s how you should set your AC before you leave:
  • Turn the temperature up to 85°
  • Set your thermostat fan to AUTO, not ON
You may be thinking, “Why should I keep my air conditioner ON when no one is at home?”

Well, turning off your AC can cause humidity-related problems down the road like:
  1. Mold and mildew
  2. Damaged electronics
  3. Structural damage to your home
In this article, we’ll explain those problems in more detail, and we’ll also cover why you should set your thermostat to 85° and AUTO mode.
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Why should I keep my AC on when I’m gone?

The main reason to keep your air conditioner on while you’re gone is to prevent humidity problems. Here are 3 humidity issues you could face if you turn your AC off...

Problem #1: Mold/mildew growth

The first function of your AC is to cool your home, but its second function is to dehumidify your home’s air.

Here’s how your AC dehumidifies your home: When your air conditioner pulls in warm air from rooms in your home, the refrigerant coils absorb the heat and the moisture from that air.

If you don’t leave your AC on while you’re gone, that means no humidity is being extracted from your home’s air. The warmer the air inside your home gets, the more moisture it’ll hold.

Once your home gets above 50% humidity, you’ll start to see mold and mildew grow. Mold can grow almost anywhere, including on surfaces like:
  • Carpet
  • Wood
  • Insulation
  • Food
Problem #2: Damaged electronics

Most electronics are built to handle humidity levels from 30–50%. But, if indoor humidity levels exceed 60%, components inside your electronics can start to rust and break down.

Problem #3: Structural damage to your home

If your indoor air is too humid, you could see issues like…
  • Peeling paint
  • Swelling doors and window frames
  • Warped wood flooring
  • Splitting or cracking plaster
Before you leave: Turn the temperature up to 85°

When your thermostat is set to 85°, you’re able to maintain the right humidity level without letting your home get too hot.

Plus, 85° is warm enough that you’ll spend the minimal amount on cooling bills as well as save money by not having to replace damaged electronics or spend on mold remediation.

Before you leave: Set your thermostat to AUTO

Turn your fan to AUTO

Make sure your fan is set to AUTO and not ON or OFF.

If your fan is set to ON, it means your AC will run constantly—and that’ll wear out your air conditioner and give you an expensive energy bill when you get back.

But, if your fan is set to AUTO, your AC will only run when it needs to, so you’ll conserve energy and save money.

Want to come home to a comfortable home?

A programmable thermostat

Consider investing in a programmable thermostat. With a programmable thermostat, you can set a vacation schedule so you’ll come home to a comfortable temperature (nobody wants to come home to 85°).

You can even control some programmable thermostats on your phone or laptop. So if someone is watching your pets or staying at your home for part of your vacation, you can adjust your thermostat when the house is occupied.

Interested in a programmable thermostat?

Contact one of our experts for more information.

You can also visit our website to learn more about the thermostat installation process and our current thermostat promotions.
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