Back to Blog

Tampa Skyline

What Should You Set AC to in Florida When Away From Home?

Leaving your home for a vacation or extended period can bring a variety of concerns, particularly in a state like Florida where the heat and humidity are constant companions. One of the most frequent questions homeowners have is about the ideal AC setting to maintain while they are away. The right temperature setting on your air conditioner not only helps in reducing energy costs but also plays a crucial role in preventing mold growth and maintaining indoor air quality.

Understanding the Florida Climate

Florida’s climate is characterized by long periods of heat and high humidity, which can create challenges in maintaining an indoor environment that’s both comfortable and safe from mold and other humidity-related issues. The key to managing this is understanding how your air conditioner works not just to cool your home, but also to dehumidify it.

What Temperature Should I Leave My AC On While on Vacation?

When you’re planning to be away from home, setting your AC to the right temperature is crucial for balancing energy savings with protective measures for your home. Experts generally recommend setting your air conditioner to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re away. This temperature is optimal for preventing excessive heat and humidity in your home without overworking your AC system.

However, the exact setting can vary depending on other factors including the duration of your absence, the typical weather conditions expected, and the characteristics of your home. For shorter vacations, a setting closer to your normal comfort range can be appropriate, while for longer periods, a higher setting is more energy-efficient.

AC Temperature to Prevent Mold in Florida

Mold growth is a common issue in Florida homes due to the high humidity levels. It thrives in warm, damp environments and can start to grow if humidity levels inside the home rise above 60%. Setting your AC properly when away can help keep indoor humidity levels in check.

The optimal temperature to discourage mold growth is around 77-78 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, your AC will effectively remove moisture from the air, which is a key factor in mold prevention. This setting helps ensure that the air is not too humid, which can promote mold growth, nor too dry, which can damage wooden furniture and fixtures.

What to Set AC to When Away

The general recommendation for homeowners in Florida is to set the thermostat to about 78 degrees Fahrenheit when away from home. This setting is considered a good compromise between preventing mold and not consuming excessive energy. If you are concerned about energy usage, increasing the thermostat to 80 degrees is also acceptable, especially if no sensitive plants, pets, or electronics are left in the home.

Benefits of the Right Settings

Setting your AC to an optimal temperature while you’re away not only saves money on energy bills but also extends the life of your HVAC system by preventing it from overworking. A well-maintained system operates more efficiently, breaks down less frequently, and has a longer overall lifespan.

Moreover, maintaining the right temperature and humidity levels prevents structural damages to your home and belongings. Excessive heat can cause wood to warp and paint to peel, while high humidity can lead to mold and mildew growth, which are costly to remediate.

Technology to Assist in Temperature Management

Advancements in home automation and smart thermostats have made it easier than ever to control your home’s climate from afar. Smart thermostats can adjust the temperature based on the humidity levels and weather forecasts, ensuring that your home is always set at an optimal environment. They can also send alerts to your smartphone if the indoor temperature or humidity exceeds predetermined thresholds, allowing for quick adjustments.


Managing your AC settings when away from home is crucial in a state like Florida. It ensures your home stays safe from the perils of excessive heat and humidity while keeping energy consumption in check. Remember, the recommended AC setting when you are away is around 78 degrees Fahrenheit, which strikes a balance between preventing mold and reducing energy usage.

If you need further guidance on setting your HVAC system or are looking for professional maintenance to ensure your system is optimized for your absence, don’t hesitate to call The Comfort Authority. Our team of experts is ready to help you with all your HVAC needs to ensure that your home remains a comfortable and safe environment, no matter where you are. Contact The Comfort Authority today and ensure your peace of mind while you enjoy your time away from home!