You see them everywhere on the Western Slope. Ski homes in Aspen, Vail, and other large seasonal homes sitting empty for long periods of time while the owners are away traveling.
Climate Control Company want to make sure the folks taking care of those homes, often property managers, have good information about how to deal with these vacation vacancies.
Let’s start with some important summer HVAC tips:
Thermostat up but not off:
- Yes, it’s a waste of energy to keep your house cool when no one is home. Turn the thermostat up. A good number for your air conditioning is from 78 to 82 degrees.
- As tempting as it is to save energy and money, shutting the AC off could make the house too hot. The heat could damage plants and even wood floors.
- Colorado is blessed with a dry summer climate, but running the air conditioner also controls the humidity. Moisture can cause mold problems in the home.
- If there’s not one in the home, now is a good time to talk with Climate Control about getting one. Our featured thermostats are from Honeywell and Lennox.
- Most will have a factory pre-programmed vacation mode. It will keep the house at a constant temperature while it’s vacant. The temperature can be adjusted, but again, don’t go overboard.
- You can also program the thermostat to cool the house back to a normal level if you know when it’s going to be used again. This can all be done remotely with a mobile device if it’s a WiFi thermostat.
Sunshine is the enemy:
- Close all the mini blinds and curtains when no one is there to keep the house cool
- The only exception is in a room where you’re leaving the lights on for security reasons.
When the house is empty is also a great time to call in the Climate Control technicians for an AC maintenance and a tune-up. It assures the system will cool efficiently while the home is vacant.
Now that the HVAC systems are under control, let’s deal with a few other ways to save money AND protect a vacant home.
Set the water heater to vacation mode. If it doesn’t have that setting turn it down to low. It makes no sense to keep all of the water hot while the home is empty.
Turn off the main water supply to the house. It’s the best way to avoid unpleasant surprises like a burst washer hose. If it’s a long-term vacancy, the water should be turned on once a month. At the same time, turn on the faucets, flush the toilets, and run the dishwasher. It prevents things like seals and gaskets from drying out.
Now, let’s talk home security. Don’t do anything to attract the criminal element. Make sure any mail or newspapers are picked up every day. Ask your local law enforcement agency for extra patrols.
Not to overstate the obvious, but make sure all the doors AND windows are locked. Leave some lights on. If you use a timer to vary the time they go on and off, even better.
If you have any questions call Climate Control, your HVAC contractor for Vail, Aspen, and the surrounding area for all your maintenance, replacement or service needs.