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How to Leave Your Home in Vacation-Mode

July 14, 2021

Top Myths Busted: Things to Know Before You Go
As summer heats up, so do travel plans. But before you pack your bag, make sure you’re aware of the myths about maintaining the optimal temperature and air quality for your home, and check out the best tips for prepping your home while you’re away.

Myth 1: If I’m not home, the HVAC should be turned off to conserve energy.
Well, this one is partially true. If you’ll be gone for a few days, it’s best to adjust the air conditioner controls so that it’s not working too hard to cool an empty house. Setting your thermostat to a higher temperature that stays constant, such as seven to ten degrees higher than you normally would, allows the HVAC system to help manage humidity levels while utilizing less energy than if trying to accommodate fluctuating temperatures. 
However, if you plan to be gone for a week or longer, it makes sense to turn off your HVAC system so that you are not wasting the energy—and money—to cool an uninhabited house. If you want to be in-the-know of what’s happening to the inside temperature of your home and have the ability to control those comfort levels from anywhere, consider the EcoNet Smart Thermostat as your ultimate travel buddy.
The newest feature on the EcoNet App – geofencing – allows you to program your thermostat to coincide with your return home. This intuitive phone app pings the phone’s location to figure out if you are home or away and ensures your HVAC system is in the appropriate mode. Think of geofencing as an adjustable, invisible border surrounding your home. When you are “inside” the border that you have set (mileage) you are considered to be “home”, so your EcoNet app makes things nice and comfy for you by adjusting your Rheem HVAC products automatically. When you are outside that boundary – perhaps sitting on a beach miles 1,000 miles away – your app adjusts your home’s indoor air temperature to rise or fall to save you some money and so you don’t cool or heat your home when no one is at home.

Myth 2: My pets won’t mind a warmer house for a few days while I’m gone.
Keep in mind that while pets can handle minor temperature adjustments, if your pet will be home and watched by a visitor, try to keep the house as comfortable as possible for them, especially if your local temperature can be extreme or oppressively hot. If it’s a shorter stay, ask a friend or neighbor to check in on your pets more regularly and put out extra bowls of water, in case your animal needs more hydration. If your travel plans are for a lengthy time away, consider having a friend or family member stay in your house to watch your pets and plants, or board them in a comfortable kennel that can monitor their health during extreme weather.

Myth 3: I should crack a window while the AC is on, just to circulate air.
False. Opening a window is just letting the cooled air—and your money—escape. Instead, try to maintain a cool, comfortable temperature by drawing curtains across windows, closing blinds, and making sure all doors and windows are sealed to retain cooler temperatures for a longer period of time. Even if you’re just out running errands, the geofencing feature of the EcoNet Smart Thermostat app is tuned into your distance from home and adjusts the controls to match your needs. You’ll never walk into a stuffy home again.

Myth 4: I only need to use the AC during extreme temperatures.
Somewhat true, but mostly false. While we may think the weather is accurately predictable, a summer storm or extreme temps can sweep through an area within hours. Being prepared for whatever is happening in your home while you’re away is invaluable when protecting your home and assets. Using a digital remote HVAC system, as with the EcoNet Smart Thermostat app, allows homeowners to set their temperatures while away and adjust as needed, wherever you are. It’s a reliable and worry-free way to save money, energy, and peace of mind while traveling.
Another thing to consider is that extreme weather events, such as tornado activity or severe storms, can dramatically lower the temperature, then be followed by muggy heat and humidity. To help combat any potential mildew issues, the EcoNet Smart Thermostat can monitor and adjust humidity levels, even when you are far from the threatening weather. With push notifications, email, and in-app messaging, the EcoNet Smart Thermostat ensures that you are always in control of your home’s air quality and comfort level no matter where you are.

Myth 5: I’ll call the HVAC professional when I spot a problem.
False. You shouldn’t wait for a problem, it’s best to schedule a “health check” with your trusted HVAC professional. A well-maintained HVAC system will always out-perform and outlast a system that isn’t properly attended. Before any big trip, or better, as a yearly check-up, schedule a maintenance check with a Rheem Pro to keep your home’s comfort system running as optimally as possible. An experienced professional can point out issues before they become costly and inconvenient problems and offer tips for getting the most out of your system, such as clearing registers and returns.
Your home is an investment, and we know the importance of getting away from it for vacation when you can. When it comes to optimizing your comfort, being able to manage your HVAC system even when you’re not home is one of the best ways to prepare and protect all that matters within your house. Call a Rheem Pro today to learn more about prepping your house for vacation-mode, and how a digital smart thermostat can provide peace of mind and comfort while you relax.