Date: 15/09/2019
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SHOULD YOU TURN OFF YOUR AC WHILE ON VACATION?

CooliListen, podcast, air conditioningng an empty house – either when you’re gone during the day at work, or when you’re away for an extended vacation – seems like a bad idea since it uses electricity and energy, and wastes money. So, it’s natural to assume that the best way to save money is to turn it off when not in use, right?  Not so! Here’s why:

humidity, window condensation, indoor moldWhile you’re gone, the house heats up, but it does so unevenly – with some areas or materials retaining pockets of cooler air and others having pockets of warmer air.  This can cause condensation inside the walls, around pipes and around windows, while indoor humidity rises.  In Tennessee, it’s like we always say: it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity!  The increased humidity in your home attracts bugs and greatly accelerates mold growth.  Over time, this moisture and mold can damage a house, causing fowl smells, wood deterioration and warping, buckling of wallpaper, peeling paint, and can damage sensitive artwork, electronics, and bottled wine.  High humidity also greatly increases allergens in the air – bacteria, mold, fungus, and dust mites -  which get deposited in your living space.  Remember: the number one thing air conditioning provides is dehumidification!

What’s the Solution?

thermostatThe best solution is to turn the air conditioning down a few degrees but not completely off when not in use.  If you’re going to be gone for less than 12 hours, we recommend turning the thermostat up by no more than 4-6 degrees.  This way, you won’t come home to a humid, stuffy house and your air conditioner will not have to work very hard to cool the house down to your “normal” setting.  On the other hand, if you’re going away on vacation for a week, we recommend turning your thermostat up by no more than about 7-10 degrees.  This will allow you to save the maximum amount on cooling without risking damage from humidity.  A good rule of thumb to keep humidity at bay is to never set your thermostat higher than 82 degrees.

 

Programmable Thermostats to the Rescue!

programmable thermostatHere’s where having a programmable thermostat is ideal.  You can set it to automatically be a few degrees higher during the portions of the workday when you are away, so you won’t need to remember to do this manually each day. Most thermostats also have an “away” setting you can use while on vacation.  Don’t want to come home to a hot house?  Many smart thermostats give you the ability to reset the temperature remotely, so you can turn down the temperature a couple of hours before you return.

 

Other Summer Vacation Tips

carpet cleaning, steam clean, summerDo not steam clean carpets during the summer. This will increase humidity and cause moisture to be retained in the carpet and padding (especially if you’re turning the thermostat up!), and thus increases the mold and allergen problem.  It’s best to clean carpets during the winter months, when humidity is lower, and room heat can aid in drying the carpet and pad more quickly.

 

exhaust fanDo not leave exhaust fans on while you’re on vacation.  This only serves to exhaust the already cooled air and makes your air conditioner work harder.

 

houseplant, humidityRemove any standing water in the house – whether from a pet’s water dish (assuming you’re not leaving your pet behind), or in saucers around plants.  Water your plants the night before and pour out any excess water just before leaving.  Many plants are able to take in moisture from the humidity in the air, and leaving standing water around only attract bugs and mold… especially if you are raising the thermostat up several degrees.

 

Check out our many posts for more helpful tips to get the most out of your heating and air-conditioning year round.  If you live in the Nashville and surrounding area, Interstate AC Service is here for you!  Call on us at 615-832-8500.

Important Tips & Advice

 

 

You often don't think about your heating or air-conditioning system until something goes wrong. But there is so much you can do to help keep your system from breaking down. We regularly post information to help you learn what you can do to keep your system running, to save money and energy.  Search our many posts, videos, and podcasts, for valuable information that is never a sales pitch. Subscribe to receive an email when something new is posted, so you won’t miss any important tips.

Choosing a Repair Company

Whether you’re talking about heating or cooling, repairing or replacing a system, you want a company that can advise you reliably based on what is in your best interest, not based on what is convenient or what earns them the most money (commissions). We'll help you choose the best solution to fit your needs. Check out our many posts at HVAC News You Can Use and our podcasts.

Going Green

We're concerned about the environment and know all the latest technologies - such as geothermal systems, LED lights, and smart thermostats - that can reduce energy and put more "green" in your pocket!  We've provided HVAC systems in certified LEED buildings and written many posts on ways to Go Green.

The Sign of Service

We are a repair company performing a full range of commercial and residential heating, air conditioning, energy management and comfort products service, maintenance, and installation. We are a locally-owned company serving Nashville-Davidson County and the surrounding counties including Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Sumner, Robertson, and Cheatham.

Who We Are

Our service technicians are fully trained and experienced.  We can tackle the most complicated system to the simplest of systems – from large commercial plants to single-family homes.  Our ownership group of Eddie Hutton, Tony Anderson, Roger Eldridge,  Swaney Powers and Alan Seilbeck have over 125 years combined experience as leaders in the HVAC industry.

Dispatch

We are proud of our dispatchers that respond to your telephone call. When your system is down they make things happen. Our trucks are loaded with most parts needed for a quick repair. You can call day and night 7 days a week. Our normal weekday hours are 7:00AM to 5:00PM. Click on the button below to schedule a service call online. Emails and forms can only be answered weekdays from 7-5.”  

615-832-8500 Online Service Call

Maintenance

Did you know you should service your HVAC on a regular schedule – just like you would your car?  We have specialized maintenance programs to ensure the clean, energy efficient and safe operation of your HVAC systems.  This helps minimize service interruptions/breakdowns and maximize your equipment's lifespan.  All maintenance contract customers are assigned a primary technician that will get to know your facility and equipment and will treat it like his own.  You’ll receive discounts on repairs or new installations, and get priority service when it is cold or hot outside and you need service promptly.  Plus, maintenance contract customers are never charged overtime rates for emergency services after-hours, weekends or holidays. We’ll teach you how to save on maintenance costs by showing you things you can do yourself and when you need a technician. Here are some good posts:  Repair vs. Replace, Things to Try Before Calling for Service, Springtime Tips that Pay Off.

Commercial

Our team takes on HVAC projects for office, school, retail and industrial facilities. Check out these case studies:

Replacement of a 250-ton Cooling Tower

Ductless HVAC at Brentwood Middle School