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|Posted on August 11, 2015 at 6:50 PM||comments (0)|
Proper Air Conditioner Settings & Mold Prevention while you are away
Earlier this week I was performing a bi-weekly Homewatch check for one of my clients when I immediately noticed that the house was extremely warm. Upon checking the thermostat I saw the display was out which can be a big problem. When the temperature is not being read by the thermostat, it does not triggering the air conditioner to kick on automatically. The fix was to simply replace the batteries, but had they not had someone checking on their home this could have easily turned into a much bigger problem.
Especially in Florida, a broken air conditioner means it cannot do its job of pulling the humidity from the air, which can quickly lead to mold in the home. If left unchecked this problem can grow and require professional abatement. This is a good reminder of why it is so important to have someone check on your house when you are gone.
Avoid Air Conditioner and Mold nightmares by following these tips:
1) Have your AC serviced before you leave.
Annual Maintenance ensures the system is running correctly and can catch any minor issues before they become a larger problem. Be sure that the tech cleans the coils, checks that the condensate drain line is working properly and that the drain pan has no mold.
2) Change your filter
A clean filter allows your AC unit to work more efficiently, saving you money and reducing the risk of breakdowns. If you plan to be gone for more than 3 months be sure to leave a spare filter for someone so they can change it out if the filter gets too dirty.
3) Set your thermostat between 77 - 82
This temperature is warm enough that it will keep your electric bill down, but still cool enough that the AC will kick on and pull the humidity from the air.
*FPL recommends setting your thermostat 72 degrees on a timer which kicks on during the early morning for a couple of hours and then at 88 degrees for the rest of the day. This will reduce your power bill and will effectively pull the humidity out of the air that causes mold.
In my opinion this also increases the risk of failure because you have now added a timer to the mix that could potentially fail or not turn on if incorrectly set. This also means that the person checking on your house will experience warm temperatures and it may take longer for them to realize there is a problem if the air conditioner has failed.
4) Confirm your insurance policy still covers you while you are away
Be sure to check with your insurance carrier regarding vacant or unoccupied homeowner policies before you leave for an extended period of time. You may find that repairs for water intrusion/mold are not be covered by your insurance if you do not report them in a timely manner. Some policies also offer discount if you can prove you had regular home checks while you were away.
5) Enlist someone to check on your home regularly
This is important not just for air conditioner concerns, but also to make sure there are no leaks, pests, or home invasions. The last thing you want after an extended stay away from your home is to have to spend your first days or even weeks back fixing a problem. This can also get very expensive.
If you would like further information on any of the above or would like to enlist our home watch services, please contact us at 727-368-6589.