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air conditioning units line a row of homes

Closing up your Florida home: air conditioning, windows and doors

This is the fifth blog post in our six-part series on how to prepare your Florida home if you’ll be away for an extended time. In this post, we will review air conditioning considerations, as well as our what to look out for with windows and doors.

When you leave your home unattended for an lengthy period, it is important to make sure it remains cool and free from humidity. Things you should check include:

Air conditioning
  • First and foremost, leave your air conditioner in good working order. Before you leave, have your unit checked and maintained by a professional.
  • Change or wash (if applicable) your air filter.
  • Operate your air conditioner for two hours a day when your house is closed and sealed to reduce potential development of mildew.
  • If you have a programmable thermostat, set it to operate the unit for a two-hour period in the cooler, morning hours. If you don’t have a timer, set the thermostat for 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If you have a humidistat, follow manual recommendations and consider having it professionally calibrated. If not set properly, the unit will operate inefficiently and result in higher electric bills.
  • If using a window air conditioner, check around the edges of the window for any leakage and replace insulation as needed.
Windows and doors
  • Make sure windows and doors are in operational and in good condition.
  • Check weather-sealing around windows and doors, and repair/replace if needed, to keep out moisture.
  • If you have a fireplace, be sure the damper is closed not only for moisture but also for unwanted “guests.”

For more helpful tips, visit sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/sarasota or the EDIS publication website.

Next time, we’ll review security issues you should consider.

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