Whether it’s a much-needed vacation or a long trip for work, traveling means making plans for your home comfort system. You don't need it if you’re away, so you can adjust it as appropriate to minimize your energy use. Just the same, you shouldn't just turn it off for the entire duration of your trip.
For the most part, it’s ideal to leave your HVAC system going and just raise or lower depending on the time of year. That way you can lower energy costs without having to worry about getting back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll walk you through why you shouldn’t turn your HVAC system off as well as the ideal thermostat settings for various times of year.
Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you may be tempted to turn your HVAC system off before a trip, this could end up stirring up costly problems by the time you come back. This is particularly true when the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re away from home.
As an example, shutting the HVAC system down in the summer could lead to very high humidity. Not only will your home feel like a swamp when you have returned, but it may have also encouraged mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And over the winter, leaving the furnace off will sometimes lead to pipes freezing up or even bursting. It’s never fun to return home from a nice trip only to discover considerable water damage close to a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can make temperature adjustments even when you're just going to work. Considering you’re away for 8 hours or more, it doesn’t make sense to keep an empty home heated or cooled as if you were there. As a general rule, it’s suggested to raise the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. This means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, consider adjusting it to 76-77 while you’re at work.
But you could save even more if you try further adjustments to the temperature. As reported by the Department of Energy, you may save around 10% on your HVAC expenses by increasing the adjustment to 7-10 degrees.
Best Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Summer
If you leave for a longer trip in the middle of summer, you can make more significant adjustments. This prevents wasting energy while still safeguarding your home from the hassles that come with leaving it un-air conditioned. Something like 5 degrees is suitable for brief trips while closer to 10 degrees is best if you’ll be gone for 2 weeks or more. If you enjoy keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 can offer beneficial results.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Winter
To try and find the best thermostat setting for a winter vacation, simply lower it 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 limiting how frequently your furnace operates.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Advantages of a Smart Thermostat
One of the best ways to manage your home’s HVAC system while away is with a smart thermostat. This special type of programmable thermostat employs intelligent software to track your typical comfort habits. It applies these preferences and makes automatic adjustments to the schedule for higher energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi connectivity, you can remotely access your heating and cooling using a smart device like a phone or tablet.
Smart thermostats are loaded with features to help you save on your energy bill. For instance, specific models can monitor electricity prices to increase heating or cooling when prices are lower. They are compatible with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to fine-tune 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 a variety of ways you can bring down your costs, essentially getting a smart thermostat for free. The next time you leave for vacation, you can enjoy true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t stir up any trouble while you’re away from home.