When performing home inspections in Phoenix I frequently look at vacant homes where the AC unit is off.
This is not a great idea, let me explain why.
If someone is looking to buy the home and it is 115 degrees outside, they will not enjoy the 100 degrees inside the home. 85 degrees feels real nice when coming in from the heat.
It can cause damage to the home.
As building materials heat up and cool down they expand and contract. Different materials expand and contract at different rates.
The wood trusses move differently than the drywall, the drywall moves differently than the metal at the corners of the windows. When materials expand and contract at different rates cracks form at the weak points like the joints in the drywall, corners of windows etc.
If you set the thermostat for 85 degrees and left it there, the inside temperature would not change much thereby reducing the movement. This will result in fewer drywall cracks. Secondly it is not uncommon for the summer temperatures to stay over 100 degrees even at night.
The heat is hard on the seals around the windows and the plumbing and they dry out.
The heat is also hard on the caulked joints at tubs, showers and counter tops, therefore keeping the home conditioned in the summer will reduce the maintenance needed, help the home show better and will give the home inspector fewer thing to write up in their report.
Note: You should have the AC serviced and have someone change the filters for you while you are out of town. A dirty filter can cause the AC coil to freeze raising your electric bill and shorting the life of the AC unit.
Scott Warga, is the Qualifying party for ACSI American Construction Specialists and Investigations LLC,(ROC216772) a dual licensed residential and small commercial contractor. He is also a qualified Scottsdale home inspector certified by the Arizona Board of Technical Registration (#38062) and was appointed to the Arizona Board of Technical Registration’s Enforcement Advisory Committee. He has years of construction experience and has performed residential and commercial property inspections for over 10 years. He has specialized in forensic inspections, investigating failed, damaged and defective construction for over 5 years. He is a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), (#205826) and currently sits on their board of directors. He has been an instructor of home inspection at Mesa Community College, for Inspection Training Associates, a Kaplan Professional School and Arizona Sun-Tech Home Inspection School. He has served as District Chairman & Vice President for the Arizona chapter of the American Society of Home Inspectors and an approved instructor for both them and the Arizona Department of Real Estate. If you need an Arizona Home Inspector, he is your guy