Preparing your HVAC system should be one of the items on your to-do list before leaving on vacation. Taking a few steps to prep your HVAC system can help to minimize any problems while you’re away.
Get a Maintenance Check for Your System
Having one of our skilled HVAC technicians perform a thorough maintenance check is beneficial before you leave on vacation. Tightening connections, changing the air filter, and cleaning the blower fan is just a sampling of the tasks a technician completes during a maintenance check.
One of the biggest benefits of having this check is your technician can uncover potential issues. Having those issues addressed right away can prevent them from turning into larger, more costly issues. Plus, you can have peace of mind regarding possible malfunctions while you’re out of town.
Other tasks completed during a maintenance check include:
- Cleaning and calibrating thermostat
- Inspect wiring for damage
- Inspect ventilation system
- Inspect belts for damage
- Flush condensate drain line
- Lubricate moving components
While one of our skilled HVAC technicians is performing a maintenance check, this professional is becoming familiar with your system. So, if your system experiences an issue or needs repair, you know that you can depend on us for help. This is another side benefit of having maintenance on your HVAC system before leaving on vacation.
Check All of the Air Vents in Your Home
Another way to prepare an HVAC system is to open all of the vents in your home. This includes the adjustable ones on your floors, walls, and ceilings. This allows all of your rooms to receive warm or cool air in a balanced way. You should never close the vents in an unused room, whether you are going on a trip or not. This stresses and damages the system because those blocked outlets force pressure to build up and push against the ductwork, causing leaks. You don’t want this to happen while you’re away when there’s no one around to detect the difference in airflow. You could arrive back home and be surprised by a significantly higher utility bill.
As you open vents, it’s a great opportunity to evaluate the airflow in a room. If you have a large piece of furniture like a sofa or an easy chair blocking a vent, it can reduce airflow. Adjusting the location of a large piece of furniture contributes to better airflow whether you’re on vacation or not!
If you notice a lot of dust and dirt accumulating on your air vents, your air ducts may need cleaning. Including this check as a regular part of your vacation planning is a great way to preemptively alleviate more serious air quality issues. One of our HVAC technicians can inspect your ductwork to determine whether professional cleaning is necessary. Dust, pet hair, and dirt inside your air ducts can blow through your vents when your HVAC kicks on. Duct cleaning collects and removes this debris, leaving you with a better quality of indoor air. Family members with respiratory issues are certainly likely to notice the difference.
Clear the Area Around Your Outdoor Unit
Preparing an HVAC system before you leave town includes both the indoor and outdoor units. The outdoor unit of an HVAC system needs at least 2 feet of space around it to ensure proper airflow. Bushes, flowers, and other vegetation growing around the outdoor unit can interfere with its operation. Branches and twigs growing against the sides of the unit can damage its metal fins. A particularly strong branch can bend or even break the metal fins. Or the pollen released by nearby vegetation can accumulate on the metal fins of the unit, hindering its airflow. In fact, a coating of pollen that accumulates over months or years reduces the energy efficiency of your HVAC system. Sometimes an accumulation of leaves around a unit can blow into its interior and cause issues as well.
An HVAC technician can check the outdoor unit for damage and ensure it has enough space for proper airflow. An HVAC technician’s maintenance check can involve cleaning the metal fins of the outdoor unit. Plus, this pro checks the wiring and connections inside this part of the system. Unfortunately, rodents and insects sometimes make their nests inside an outdoor unit. The technician can remove the nests or other debris to keep it working as it should.
Set the Thermostat
Setting the thermostat before you leave on vacation is another way to prepare your HVAC system. The goal is to maintain an even temperature throughout your rooms.
Set your thermostat 4 degrees higher than you normally do during the warm weather season. Setting your thermostat to this temperature prevents your HVAC system from expending energy to keep an empty home cool.
If you go away on vacation during the cold weather season, set your thermostat 4 degrees lower than usual. This keeps your home warm without expending too much energy to heat an empty house.
It’s never a good idea to turn off an HVAC system before leaving on vacation in the cold weather season. A total lack of heat in a home can lead to pipes that freeze and burst. The same rule goes for turning off your HVAC system before going away in the warm weather season. Turning off your HVAC system in the summer can increase the amount of humidity in your home. An elevated level of humidity can lead to the growth of mold and other harmful bacteria.
As mentioned, cleaning and calibrating the thermostat is part of an HVAC technician’s maintenance check. This can give your family additional peace of mind when setting your thermostat before leaving on vacation.
Owning a Smart thermostat makes it easy to set and monitor the temperature in your home. A qualified HVAC technician can explain all of the benefits of having a Smart thermostat.
Stock Up on Air Filters
If you plan to be on vacation for several months, you likely have someone keeping watch over your home. It’s important that the person has access to extra air filters for the HVAC system. The person can check the condition of the air filter and change it when necessary.
During a maintenance check, an HVAC technician can advise you on the type and size of air filters you need.
At 72 Degrees Heating & Air Conditioning, we are glad to serve residents in APEX, North Carolina and the surrounding area. Our well-trained technicians can provide thorough maintenance for your AC system whether you’re going on vacation or not. We evaluate your system and recommend repairs if they’re necessary. If you’re thinking about a new HVAC system, our technicians can handle the installation work.
Contact our professional team at 72 Degrees Heating & Air Conditioning today!