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Prepare Your HVAC for Vacation

Are you planning on taking a vacation this summer? Perhaps you’re planning on more than one? Make sure that you prepare your HVAC for vacation. While it’s common practice to secure your home for an extended absence, consideration should also be given to your central air system. In addition to stopping the mail, turning off the water and cleaning out your refrigerator, we’ve compiled a list of essential tips for keeping your HVAC running safely throughout your trip. Before you leave, make sure you prepare your entire home for heat and humidity that a Houston summer brings.

Raise the Temperature – One of the main reasons a Houston household can’t simply turn off the air when they leave for vacation is the sweltering heat. The combination of high temperatures and humidity can result in moisture buildup – and mold infestation. Try raising the thermostat by four degrees when you leave, which should keep the house just cool enough to avoid any problems. Though it might be tempting to raise the thermostat even more to save money, stay within the four degree mark. This will help ensure that the house is free from moisture and comfortable upon your return.

Vacuum – If you are keeping your central air on while on vacation, you will want to vacuum the entire house. Dust and allergens will continue to cycle through the filter, which could get clogged with buildup, so it is a good idea to capture as much dust and debris as you can. Consider using a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter to ensure you get a thorough cleaning. HEPA filters can catch a large amount of small particles that other designs would simply cycle through. Help prepare your HVAC for vacation by keeping the dirt and dust levels low.

What is a HEPA Filter?

Change the Air Filter – At Universal, we are big proponents of DIY HVAC maintenance. While an annual professional tune-up is essential for maximum efficiency and a long life, small maintenance procedures performed by the homeowners can also help with system longevity. Changing out the air filter is a simple, yet important, step in DIY HVAC care. During the busy HVAC seasons, summer and fall, the air filter should be changed out every month. Before leaving for a trip, prepare your HVAC for vacation by putting in a new filter to help avoid blockage.


Close the Curtains – While it might be tempting to leave the curtains open for security purposes, leaving them open all day will make the house warmer. In the heat of the summer, the sunlight coming into the home can often cause the thermostat to read the temperature incorrectly. This can lead to constant cycling which wastes both electricity and money. Make sure to close all the curtains and blinds in the house before you leave.

Schedule HVAC Maintenance – If you haven’t had annual maintenance performed on your HVAC for the summer, now would the perfect time. A professional HVAC technician will make sure that your system is running smoothly – and that there aren’t any minor problems that could possibly become bigger while you are away. Joining a service plan is a good way to keep up with annual maintenance and save money on other home services. Prepare your HVAC for vacation and have a professional ensure its efficiency.

This summer, before you leave for that much-deserved family vacation, make sure that your HVAC system is in top shape and programmed at the appropriate settings. Remember that Universal Home Experts can help you with all your HVAC needs – including annual maintenance and any repair work. If you would like to schedule maintenance before your next trip, call us at (713) 364-0226 and we’ll set up an appointment today!