Whether it’s a tropical vacation or a lengthy trip for work, leaving home means making preparations for your heating and cooling system. You don't need it while you’re on a trip, so you can adjust it as appropriate to limit your energy use. Just the same, you don’t want to just turn it off for the entire time you're gone.
Instead, it’s best to leave your HVAC system running and just raise or lower depending on the season. That way you can minimize energy costs without having to worry about getting back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll review why you should leave your HVAC system on as well as the best thermostat settings for summer and winter.
Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you may be inclined to leave your HVAC system off before a trip, this will sometimes end up stirring up big problems by the time you return. This is notably true when the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re gone.
As an example, turning the HVAC system off during the summer will sometimes lead to very high humidity. Not only will your home feel gross when you return, but it might have also encouraged mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And in the winter, leaving the furnace off might lead to pipes icing over or even bursting. It’s never fun to return home from a long trip only to find extensive water damage near a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can adjust the temperature even if you’re coming and going to work. Considering you’re away for about 8 hours or longer, it doesn’t make sense to keep an empty home at the same temperature you’d usually have. Generally, it’s recommended to adjust the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. This means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, think about raising it to 76-77 while you’re at work.
But you can save even more if you try further adjustments to the temperature. According to the Department of Energy, you may save about 10% on your HVAC costs by increasing the adjustment to 7-10 degrees.
Best Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Summer
If you leave for a lengthier trip in the middle of summer, you can make more significant adjustments. This helps you avoid using too much energy while still defending your home from the problems that come with leaving it uncooled. Something like 5 degrees is appropriate for brief trips while closer to 10 degrees is ideal if you’ll be away from home for 2 weeks or longer. If you like keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 can offer great results.
Best Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Winter
To try and find the best thermostat setting for a winter trip, just lower the temperature by the same amount you would raise it in summer. 68 is a common winter thermostat setting, so turning it down to 63-58 will keep your plumbing safe while limiting how long your furnace operates.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Benefits of a Smart Thermostat
An ideal strategy to regulate your home’s HVAC system while away is using a smart thermostat. This innovative type of programmable thermostat utilizes intelligent software to understand your typical comfort habits. It applies these preferences and makes automatic changes to the schedule for maximum energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi compatibility, you can remotely access your HVAC system using a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are packed with features to help you save even more. For example, some models can monitor electricity prices to increase heating or cooling when prices are lower. They are compatible with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to optimize how long your HVAC system has to run. It’s the ideal tool to streamline how you control your comfort system. If you’re considering investing in a smart thermostat, there are multiple ways you can lower your costs, in essence 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 stir up any trouble while you’re away.