When homeowners are away for long periods of time, it’s tempting to try to save money by simply turning off the air conditioner so it never comes on while the homeowner is away. But there are better – and safer – ways to save money while you’re away on vacation, or even for a short weekend away. Turning off your air conditioner for long periods of time is not a good idea. Here’s why:
Humidity May Skyrocket
Air conditioning does more than cool the air. It also helps to rid the air of excess moisture. This moisture is commonly called humidity. If you live in a climate where you need air conditioning, then there is probably a lot of humidity in the area, too. Turning off the A/C altogether while you’re away for a long period of time will allow the humidity in the home to skyrocket, which in turn could damage certain delicate items in the home, like heirloom furniture, a piano, or important documents.
Mold Could Develop in the Ventilation System
The air conditioning vents in the home typically contain a certain amount of condensation. When air is flowing through the vents, this keeps any mold growth at bay. However, if you turn off the air flow – by turning off the air conditioning for a long period of time – the moisture is allowed to settle in one place. When you combine this with the natural darkness inside the vents, you have a condition where mold can grow and thrive. When you return home and use the A/C again, those mold spores will be invisible and disbursed throughout your home, causing a health threat to you and your family.
To save energy while you’re away, it’s best to turn up the thermostat so the air conditioning only comes on occasionally. That way you’re still keeping the unit flowing, but not cooling your home unnecessarily.