You probably have a lot of things to accomplish before going on vacation, including packing and making travel and lodging arrangements. In all the hustle and bustle of getting ready for vacation, it’s easy to forget the importance of prepping your HVAC system. The following is a list of some of the essential things you can do to protect your HVAC system while you are away.
The Importance of Professional Maintenance and Repair
At Friar's Heating and Air, we strongly recommend that you have our professional technicians do routine maintenance on your HVAC system. This is the easiest way to ensure that your unit will run smoothly when you return from vacation, especially if you will be away for an extended time.
If minor issues are ignored today, you could deal with an extensive problem when you return home. During regular maintenance, our technicians will review the refrigerant levels, make sure that your filters are not clogged, clean coils, and check electrical components. Let us advise you to ensure that everything in your HVAC system is prepared and properly functioning before you leave.
Adjust Your Thermostat and Leave Your HVAC System On
If you turn off your heating during the winter, the temperature inside your home could get cold enough for the pipes to freeze. Indoor temperatures don’t need to dip below freezing before ice develops in your pipes. Pipes can freeze if the temperature drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit because the water in your pipes is often only several degrees above freezing during the winter.
If you don’t let your AC run during the summer, the temperature in your home can rise quickly, leading to indoor humidity. Even if you are only away for a few days, the humidity levels can get so high that they create serious issues with mold, mildew, and water damage. You can prevent this by ensuring that the temperature in your home while you away never rises above 85 degrees.
Although you should leave your HVAC system on while you are away, if there are no people or pets in the house when you are gone, there is no reason to keep your home as cool or warm as you usually would. This would waste energy.
During the summer, set your thermostat to 60 degrees; during the winter, set your thermostat to 80 degrees if you will be away for more than a day or two. Also, open cabinets under your kitchen and bathroom sink during the winter, as this will allow warm air to circulate and protect the pipes from freezing. Frozen pipes are not a significant issue in San Diego and the surrounding area. Still, there have been cases of extreme cold weather happening out of the blue during the winter in San Diego. It is better to be prepared than sorry, and leaving the heat on can give you peace of mind while you’re away.
Make Sure Your Vents Are Unobstructed and Open
Check your supply and return vents and ensure they are not clogged, obstructed, or closed. If the vents are closed, it will impact the effectiveness and efficiency of your HVAC system. This will mean higher energy bills while you are away, and your system will have to work harder to keep your home at a safe temperature.
If the vents in one room are closed, conditioned air will not freely flow in that area. During the summer, this could mean condensation forming on the walls, leading to potential mold growth and water damage. It could get cold enough in the winter for pipes on exterior walls to freeze.
Close Blinds and Curtains
In addition to the security benefits of keeping your blinds and curtains closed when you are away, this can also reduce the strain on your HVAC system. During the summer, you prevent sunlight from heating your home, which causes your AC to work harder to bring the temperature down to the desired 80 degrees.
During the winter, it has the opposite effect and will help to keep cold air out. Window coverings add a layer of insulation and prevent air from leaking around your windows. When it is cold outside, your furnace won’t need to work as hard, and the temperature inside your home will remain constant.
Invest in a Smart Thermostat
There are several reasons to invest in a thermostat. They improve the efficiency of your HVAC system when you are at home or away, lowering your energy expenses. Smart thermostats let you monitor and adjust your HVAC system remotely from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection and the appropriate application on your phone or tablet. This is always useful, but it is especially beneficial if you are on vacation and you hear that the temperatures in San Diego have drastically risen or dropped, as you can quickly adjust the temperature in your home.
A bonus is that you can remotely return your thermostat to its average temperature on your way home. This way, your house is comfortable from the moment you enter the door.
Suppose there is an HVAC system issue while you are away. A smart thermostat will notify you of the problem. You can arrange for the technicians at Friar's Heating and Air to go to your home, address the issue, and ensure that your system is functioning correctly.
Take Small Steps to Protect Your HVAC System
You can perform some basic maintenance steps to protect your HVAC system. Before you leave, change the filters. If your filter is dirty or clogged, your system must work harder to perform normally. Not only is this energy inefficient, but it could also damage your system, leaving you to deal with HVAC headaches when you get home from vacation.
Unexpected power surges and power outages impact electronics in your home, including those that control your HVAC system. A quality HVAC system is not cheap, and you want your investment to last as long as possible. Installing a quality surge protector is an excellent way to protect your system from unexpected power fluctuations while you are away.
Of course, not all surge protectors are appropriately rated for your HVAC system. During your annual maintenance, Friar's Heating and Air recommends that you talk to our technicians and ask for recommendations on surge protectors that are right for your system.
Honest and Dependable Heating and Cooling in San Diego
At Friar's Heating and Air, we are committed to offering high-quality HVAC services. For over three decades, our family-owned and -operated company has been committed to providing great service at affordable rates. We are Trane Comfort Specialists and carry a variety of quality systems designed to meet your budget, comfort requirements, and property size.
Our services include HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance. We offer air purification, UV light installation, ductwork installation, and cleaning, as well as the repair, maintenance, and installation of smart thermostats. We are experts in ductless mini-splits and offer indoor air quality testing and improvement. Contact Friar's Heating and Air today to learn how we can help you keep your home in San Diego comfortable and safe.