Between a relaxing vacation or a long trip for work, taking a trip means making preparations for your heating and cooling system. You can't use it as long as you’re away, so you can adjust the temperature as needed to minimize your energy use. Simultaneously, you shouldn't just turn it off for the entire time you're gone.
For the most part, it’s ideal to leave your HVAC system going and adjust the temperature depending on whether it's winter or summer. That way you can minimize energy costs without having to worry about returning to an uncomfortable home. We’ll explain why you shouldn’t turn your HVAC system off as well as the ideal thermostat settings for different times of year.
Here’s Why You Don't Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you may be inclined to turn your HVAC system off before a trip, this will sometimes end up leading to big problems by the time you come back. This is notably true in case the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re gone.
For example, switching the HVAC system down during the summer can produce very high humidity. Not only will your home feel like a swamp when you come back, but it might have also encouraged mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And during the winter, letting your house get cold could lead to pipes freezing or even bursting. It’s an awful feeling to come home from a long trip only to come across considerable water damage close to a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can adjust the temperature even if you’re coming and going to work. Because you’re not home for about 8 hours or longer, it doesn’t seem sensible to keep an empty home the same temperature as when you're home. Generally, it’s recommended to turn up the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. This means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, try increasing it to 76-77 while you’re gone.
But you can save even more if you try further adjustments to the temperature. As stated by the Department of Energy, you may save nearly 10% on your HVAC costs by making an adjustment of 7-10 degrees.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While on a Trip in Summer
If you’re leaving for a longer trip in the heart of summer, you can make more significant adjustments. This prevents wasting energy while still protecting your home from the problems that come with leaving it without air conditioning. Around 5 degrees is appropriate for shorter trips while around 10 degrees is worthwhile if you’ll be away from home for 2 weeks or more. If you prefer keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 should offer great results.
Recommended Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Winter
To try and find the best thermostat setting for a winter getaway, just lower the temperature by the same amount you would increase it in summer. 68 is a popular winter thermostat setting, so turning it down to 63-58 will prevent ice from forming on pipes while restricting how frequently your furnace operates.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Benefits of a Smart Thermostat
A great way to regulate your home’s HVAC system while out of the house is by investing in a smart thermostat. This innovative type of programmable thermostat uses intelligent software to track your typical comfort habits. It learns these preferences and makes automatic adjustments to the schedule for better energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi compatibility, you can remotely adjust your heating and cooling with a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are packed with features to help you save even more. For example, some models can observe electricity prices to bolster heating or cooling when prices are lowest. They can be used with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to fine-tune how long your HVAC system has to run. It’s the optimal tool to enhance how you control your comfort system. If you’re thinking about investing in a smart thermostat, there are a variety of ways you can lower your costs, essentially getting a smart thermostat for free. The next time you are away from home, you can receive true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t cause any trouble while you’re gone.