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How to Prep Your Home’s HVAC When Going on a Vacation

Published on: November 22, 2018

IMPORTANT NOTE: . Our company is located in British Columbia, Canada. If you are reading this article in another location, we hope you enjoy the information, but unfortunately we cannot service you. 

This is one of the prime times of the year when a lot of homeowners go on vacation. They may be snowbirds who love heading to a warmer climate during the winter, or maybe they plan on going somewhere different to celebrate a major festival or holiday. Whatever the reason for your vacation, you need to make sure your home is well taken care of before you leave, and that includes looking after your HVAC equipment.

The last thing you want to find when you come home after traveling is that the heater is broken or that your home is uncomfortably hot or cold! So, to help you out, here are our tips on preparing your home’s HVAC systems when you leave for your vacation.

Tip 1: Turn the Thermostat Up & Down

This is going to sound insane but it’s actually best that you don’t shut down your HVAC systems entirely while you’re gone. The thing about HVAC is that it’s designed specifically to be used regularly, not switched on and off constantly. If they’re inactive for long periods of time, the most important components in them can deteriorate and eventually operate at a poor level of capacity. Also, if systems are not switched on, moisture can develop, leading to mold growth.

So, before you go on vacation, make sure to include turning your thermostat up by at least 5 degrees. That way, moisture buildup will not occur and your HVAC will get enough sufficient activity, all while maintaining a comfortable temperature for the people looking after your home while you’re gone. Your system won’t run nearly as much, either.

Turn the thermostat down on your water heater and don’t shut it off entirely. That way you can save a little money on your energy bill, plus you won’t have to call your technician should the pilot light go out.

If temperature adjustment is something you’d rather not worry about, consider investing in a smart thermostat. That way you can program the thermostat to maintain certain temperatures and run at certain times, and you won’t have to come home to an uncomfortably too hot or too cold house.

Tip 2: Vacuum

Dust, allergen triggers, and other air contaminants tends to build up over time when left alone. When you’re out of the house, these contaminants can even circulate through the airflow and you’re your HVAC equipment. That means before you go on your vacation, you need to give your home a thorough vacuuming and cleaning.

Tip 3: Close Windows & Blinds

Now is a good time before you go on holiday to check on the windows and doors of your home. Do you feel a cold draft coming through? (These are easier to detect in fall than in the spring or summer). If so, seal any leaks and also close all of the windows before you leave. This will reduce the amount of hot air leaving your home in the winter and entering it in the summer. Closing the windows is also good common sense in terms of safety and security.

In addition to closing the windows, depending on the season it’s best to close the blinds. That way, you’ll reduce the temperature inside, thus reducing your HVAC unit’s workload too. Make sure there’s no direct sunlight shining on the unit’s thermostat either, if needed; direct sunlight can make the thermostat think the room is hotter than it really is, resulting in increased unit usage. Closing the blinds can prevent this from happening as well.

Tip 4: Change Air Filters

Cleaning and replacing the air filters in your HVAC systems, whether it’s for the A/C or furnace, is a good idea whether or not you’re going on vacation. You definitely should before you leave for a longer period of time though. That way, when you leave, your units will be running way less often and dirt and dust will have way less opportunity to build up and settle on the filters. Changing the filter right before you leave will also ensure your HVAC has the best possible protection from debris in your absence.

If your vacation is going to be a lengthy one, say, for several months, it’s worth your while to have a neighbour or even your regular HVAC technician change the filter on your units a few times when you’re gone.

Tip 5: Check Outside

The weather is not always beautiful in BC (although it is very often the case!). Storms, heavy rain, and blizzards in the winter can still affect everyone, including your outside HVAC systems. That’s why it’s a good idea to inspect your A/C units outside to see if there are any trees or bushes growing a little too close for comfort. Clear the surrounding space near your outside HVAC of any tree branches, underbrush, and other objects nearby so that in the event a bad storm does come around, they’re well protected.

Tip 6: Open all Vents

Air circulation even while you’re gone is still a good idea. Open all of the vents in your home so that air continues to flow. This is because most HVAC units are designed to provide maximum airflow. Leaving all the vents open will help the system run at its best capacity when you’re away.

Tip 7: Clean Your HVAC

Depending on the length of your vacation it’s a good idea to clean the condenser coils, filters, and exteriors of your HVAC units before you leave. As you’re doing so, be on the lookout for any leaks or weaknesses in the system that may indicate a future problem. That way you can avoid having to face expensive energy bills when you return. If you don’t have time for this before departing, hiring a professional technician to inspect the system both before and during your absence can give you some peace of mind.

If you’re planning on vacationing and need HVAC services such as inspection or repairs, give us a call! At Rep-Air Heating And Cooling we provide our customers with many options that will best suit your needs from heating and cooling to refrigeration. Contact us today for your complimentary quote: 1-778-728-1476 or and don’t forget to take a look at our website: Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for free giveaways!

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