Whether it’s a tropical vacation or a lengthy trip for work, leaving home means making plans for your heating and cooling system. You don't need it if you’re not home, so you can adjust the temperature as appropriate to minimize your energy use. Simultaneously, you shouldn't just leave it off for the entire duration of your trip.
Instead, it’s better to leave your HVAC system running and just raise or lower depending on the time of year. That way you can reduce energy costs without having to worry about returning to an uncomfortable home. We’ll explain why you should leave your HVAC system on as well as the ideal thermostat settings for summer and winter.
Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you might be tempted to shut your HVAC system down before a trip, this could end up causing annoying problems by the time you return. This is notably true when the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re out of town.
For instance, switching the HVAC system down in the summer can produce very high humidity. Not only will your home feel gross when you have returned, but it might have also encouraged mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And during the winter, leaving the furnace off can lead to pipes freezing up or even bursting. It’s exhausting to return home from a long trip only to find substantial water damage near a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can make temperature adjustments even if you’re coming and going to work. Considering you’re not home for 8 hours or more, it doesn’t make sense to keep an empty home the same temperature as when you're home. In general, it’s suggested to adjust the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. That means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, try increasing it to 76-77 while you’re gone.
But you may save even more if you're open to further adjusting the temperature. As stated by the Department of Energy, you could save about 10% on your HVAC expenses by increasing the adjustment to 7-10 degrees.
Best Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Summer
If you’re leaving for a lengthier trip in the hottest part of summer, you can make more significant adjustments. This ensures you don’t waste energy while still protecting your home from the hassles that come with leaving it un-air conditioned. Something like 5 degrees is appropriate for short trips while around 10 degrees is worthwhile if you’ll be out of town for 2 weeks or longer. If you like keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 will offer beneficial results.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Winter
To figure out the best thermostat setting for a winter vacation, consider lowering the temperature by the same amount you would adjust it in summer. 68 is a frequent winter thermostat setting, so lowering it to 63-58 will protect your plumbing while minimizing how long your furnace operates.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Perks of Smart Thermostat Installation
An ideal strategy to regulate your home’s HVAC system while out of the house is by investing in a smart thermostat. This special type of programmable thermostat uses intelligent software to monitor your preferred comfort habits. It applies these preferences and makes automatic adjustments to the schedule for maximum energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi compatibility, you can remotely access your heating and cooling using a smartphone or tablet.
Smart thermostats are loaded with features to help you save even more. For instance, some models can monitor electricity prices to increase heating or cooling when prices are more affordable. They can be used with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to optimize how long your HVAC system needs to run. It’s the ideal tool to streamline how you use your comfort system. If you’re considering investing in a smart thermostat, there are different ways you can bring down your costs, in essence getting a smart thermostat for free. The next time you leave for vacation, you can appreciate true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t cause any trouble while you’re away.