Preparing Your Home for an Extended Vacation: HVAC Considerations

Did you know, February is the gloomiest month of the year? It’s like the Monday of winter months. These winter months in Canada can be very dark and cold. Getting away to sunnier climates when the temperature begins to dip is a much-anticipated vacation for many Canadians. However, when you leave your home, it remains susceptible to the cold weather conditions that can cause some unexpected surprises when you get home. If you want to ensure your home remains safe and sound while you are away this winter, preparing your house for vacation with these tips will help.   

Set Up a Maintenance Call 

A maintenance check with our HVAC experts will provide peace of mind while you are away. Not only will it address any issues that could cause problems, but it will also keep everything fully operational for the rest of the season. A check will include a 26-point furnace checklist as well as: 

  • Clean or replace furnace air filter 
  • Clean furnace components, including blower assembly, fans, pulleys and belts 
  • Check electrical connections and wires 
  • Check pipe fittings and gas supply line 
  • Check heat exchanger for cracks or corrosion 

Check Your Thermostat 

If your thermostat operates on batteries, replace them before you leave. This will ensure your settings remain operational. Your maintenance call can check this for you and even recommend a new Smart Thermostat installation that will allow you to monitor the system while you are away. 

Have Home Checks 

Get someone to check on your home intermittently to look for issues. This is not only in relation to your HVAC system but for other potential issues such as plumbing or even signs someone has broken into your home. 

Adjust Your HVAC Settings 

You might be tempted to simply turn off your heater when you leave, but this is not safe. Instead, you want to adjust your temperature, so you avoid wasting energy heating your home, while also keeping it warm enough to avoid issues such as burst pipes if the temperature drops drastically for an extended period of time. Ideally, your home should remain between 13 and 16 degrees Celsius. If you have a smart thermostat you can also adjust the heat to be toasty when you get home. 

Seal Doors and Windows 

Although this isn’t directly related to your HVAC system, it will help keep your home temperature warm enough while you are away. If your heat is turned down and temperatures outside dip, leaky doors and windows can keep the house colder than your thermostat setting. Make sure doors and windows are properly sealed to keep your home air right so your furnace isn’t forced to work harder and waste energy while you are away. 

Open Cabinet Doors 

Because you will have your thermostat turned down you can help protect your pipes from freezing. This is especially important if you have pipes on outside walls behind kitchen or bathroom cabinets. Cold air outside and colder HVAC settings inside could make it difficult for your pipes to remain warm enough to avoid freezing. If you open all your cabinet doors the warm air will reach the wall and reduce the risk of damage. 

These tips will help in preparing your house for vacation. A smart thermostat can make it more convenient to monitor temperatures for further peace of mind. For all of your HVAC needs, including smart home technology, contact your local ClimateCare member.