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How to Prep Your AC Unit Before Leaving on Vacation


You know from experience: just because you’re taking a vacation doesn’t mean your worries about what’s going on at home, like if your AC unit is running up your utility bill, take a vacation, too.

Of course, there’s a big difference between fleeting, intermittent thoughts of home and acute preoccupation, and the latter will probably interfere with the vacation you’ve planned, saved for and really want to enjoy.

Preparation is the surest way to liberate your anxieties so nothing goes haywire in your absence. Here are a few things to check off your list before locking up and leaving for vacation.

Secure Your AC Unit

  • Schedule your annual air conditioner tune-up, if you haven’t already. Your AC unit needs to be cleaned and lubricated regularly to ensure it runs efficiently (and saves you money on operating costs) and doesn’t conk out when you want or need it most. Think of those first crucial minutes as you walk through the door from vacation, drop your suitcases and lower the thermostat to cool down your home. A malfunctioning AC unit is one of the last things you’ll want to contend with.
  • Change your AC unit filter. Instant Air can do this for you during a tune-up, but it’s always a good idea to keep a few spare filters on hand. Check the filter every month and replace it when it’s so dirty you cannot see through it. And in our hot and dusty climate, the filter can get dirty in a hurry.
  • Turn up your thermostat, but do not completely turn off your air conditioner while you’re on vacation. It may seem like a waste of energy because no one will be home to enjoy the cool air you have to pay for. However, wood floors, doors and cabinets can expand and buckle in the face of excessive heat, and doors may no longer close properly. Set your thermostat to 88 degrees – the rationale being that this is about 10 degrees higher than you should set your thermostat at in the summer while you’re home, according to the S. Department of Energy. At 88 degrees, it will be warm in your house, but not excessive. Plus, your air conditioner will still be working to reduce humidity in the air so you do not return to a sauna-like environment.

Take Other Smart Safety Precautions

Your AC unit may be your most looming concern, but it shouldn’t be the only one. Before you leave on vacation, be sure to:

  • Turn off the main water supply. On the off-chance a pipe bursts while you’re on vacation, you will be spared a potential assault of thousands of gallons of water – and thousands of dollars in damages, too.
  • Unplug every single electrical device that is plugged directly into a wall in case there is a power interruption (or worse: a lightning strike) while you’re away. For devices plugged into a surge protector, flip the switch to the “off” position.
  • Put timers on lights throughout your home — in the back and front and on both levels — to foster the impression you’re home.
  • Install a motion-activated sensor on a floodlight in the backyard to deter a would-be burglar.

Leave for Vacation Knowing Your Home & AC Unit Will Be Fine

Mark these items off your preparation checklist and have an Instant Air technician give a quick AC unit tune-up so you can rest easy while on vacation. Also, if you need us for any reason while you’re on vacation, give us a call at (702) 385-2665 and we can be there. We know full well: you need one less thing to worry about while you’re on vacation.