Leaving for Vacation during a Heatwave

mpietropaoliJune 26, 2012

We live in a small rowhouse with not the most efficient central air unit. We are leaving the house during a 'moderately' hot heat wave (we live in Baltimore, where 95 degree days constitute a 'moderate' heat wave), and I wanted to know the best way to leave the house.

Is it best to:

1.) keep the unit completely off, close all shades, and let the temperature climb? Odds are the house temperature will reach the mid-90's

2.) Set the thermostat at a moderate level, say 85, and let it cool it down at some during the time we are gone.

Thanks in advance!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
heatseeker

leave at 80 deg. and have someone check your house daily.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 7:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
heatseeker

leave at 80 deg. and have someone check your house daily.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 8:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tigerdunes

Leaving for how long?

I agree with heatseeker.

IMO

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 11:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
SnidelyWhiplash

Heatseeker, are you serious in suggesting the house needs to be checked daily? What needs to be checked?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 12:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ionized_gw

It depends on what you have stored in your home that is heat-sensitive.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 2:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cindywhitall

Vacations are when a programmable thermostat is great. You can set it for various days and times. If I left on Sunday and came home Sat I'd tell it to keep it about 84 during the week, day and night. Say 84 on the weekend, except you can choose wake,leave, return, sleep. I'd choose 84 then if you think you will return at say 7pm set it to "return" at 3:00 at 72 degrees. It will be nice and cool when you walk in!

We have done this for vacations before. You can get them fancy and not so fancy.

It is great to have anyway if you are all out of the house all day. You set it for sleep, then maybe change it for just before you wake, then in the summer set it higher until shortly before you are scheduled to return. In the winter we sleep with it pretty cold, then it turns on an is nice when we wake up.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 3:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mike_home

There is nothing wrong with the temperature in your house hitting the mid-90s. I grew up in a house that didn't have air conditioning. I lived like this for many summers.

I would set it to 85 and accept that it will take a while to cool down when I returned home. If you are going to be away for several weeks, then shutting off the AC would make sense.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 5:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
saltidawg

Mike home,

I grew up in New York City without A/C - as did virtually everyone else in the early and mid 1940s.

With windows open I'm sure it never got to 90s inside.

Closing up the house is a different situation.

That said, assuming no pets, plants, etc, I'm not sure what would be hurt by letting the indoor temp get up into the 90s ??????

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 5:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
heatseeker

No I am just kidding. If one leaves ac on while out of town a good practice would be to have it checked to make sure everything is functioning properly. Maybe every other day at the most. But hey I've only seen about a hundred caved in ceilings and 1000 flooded floors, I don't like to gamble with other peoples property.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 8:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tigerdunes

If for extended time, you might just cut it off and perhaps leave a key with neighbor or relative to cut system on the day b4 you return.

I have never liked the idea of returning from a vacation to a hot and stuffy home.

IMO

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 8:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mike_home

If you had a Next theromstat, I assume you could remotely monitor the house's temperature and make adjustments as needed. You could also lower the temperature a few hours before you arrived.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 12:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
busboy

I too would leave it at 85. Most important to me though is TURN THE WATER MAIN OFF! The number of things that can go wrong with water while you are away are too numerous to discuss unless we go over to the Plumbing Forum!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 1:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
saltidawg

I've seen all kinds of "answers" re having the vacant house checked, turning off the water, etc, etc. But the Heating and A/C Forum questions posed was what temperature to set the thermostat, and in that there are different answers, what is the reason.

What is the harm in turning the A/C off. (Yeah, I get it that it would nice to come home to a comfortable home... but that's another issue.)

TIA

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 1:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ionized_gw

Probably none. Sometimes, however, there can be unintended consequences. If there is a damp, finished basement in this townhouse ,you could come home with mildewed carpet if left with no dehumidification in the humid summer.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 2:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
saltidawg

Just was forced to conduct an "experiment" due to a Derecho storm that came thru Maryland on Friday evening around 10:15 PM. Over a million service addresses were left without power. Outside temps in the upper 90s.

We were without electricity for 2ý Days with daytime temps in the upper 90s and night time temps in the 75 degree range.

I'm in a two story Colonial with lots of attic insulation and a light colored roof.

My downstairs temp peaked at 82 degrees and my upstairs temp at 86 degrees.

My basement temp and humidity did not budge at all.

I can see no downside to setting the thermostat to 85 degrees (at least) if leaving the house for a while... it goes without saying that I have no inside plants nor pets.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 6:54PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
HVAC design
In determining the HVAC system to use in our new construction,...
bethmcg
Does Air Duct Cleaning really help?
We live in a 40 year old home with a forced air gas...
lincann
Heat Pump in Northern Virginia
Does anyone have advice on which contractors may be...
jbedford004
Blown in insulation vs spray foam
I am looking for advice. I have a home built in 2000...
mkrafczyk
Climatemaster Tranquility 27 4 ton coil leak
I thought I'd noticed some degradation in the system...
2ajsmama
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™