Between a tropical vacation or an extended trip for work, traveling means making plans for your HVAC system. You won’t be using it while you’re not home, so you can adjust the temperature as needed to limit your energy use. Just the same, you don’t want to just leave it off for the entire time you're gone.
Instead, it’s best to leave your HVAC system running and adjust the temperature depending on the season. That way you can reduce energy costs without stressing about coming back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll walk you through why you should avoid turning your HVAC system off as well as the ideal thermostat settings for various times of year.
Here’s Why You Don't Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you may be inclined to leave your HVAC system off before a trip, this could end up stirring up big problems by the time you come back. This is notably true if the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re out of town.
For instance, shutting the HVAC system down during the summer will sometimes lead to very high humidity. Not only will your home feel like a swamp when you have returned, but it might have also stimulated mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And over the winter, letting your house get cold can lead to pipes icing over or even bursting. It’s never fun to get home from a long trip only to discover considerable water damage close to a broken pipe.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can optimize the temperature even if you’re coming and going to work. Considering you’re not home for around 8 hours or so, it doesn’t seem sensible to keep an empty home at the same temperature you’d usually have. Generally, it’s encouraged to turn up the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. That means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, consider increasing it to 76-77 while you’re gone.
But you may save even more if you try further adjustments to the temperature. According to the Department of Energy, you may save nearly 10% on your HVAC costs by raising the temperature by about 7-10 degrees.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Summer
If you’re leaving for an extended trip in the heart of summer, you can make bigger adjustments. This prevents wasting energy while still safeguarding your home from the hassles that come with leaving it un-air conditioned. About 5 degrees is appropriate for short trips while closer to 10 degrees is ideal if you’ll be gone for 2 weeks or more. If you enjoy keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 should offer great results.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While On a Trip in Winter
To determine the most energy-efficient thermostat setting for a winter trip, consider lowering the temperature by the same amount you would increase it in summer. 68 is a common winter thermostat setting, so turning it down to 63-58 will prevent ice from forming on pipes while limiting how often your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Perks of a Smart Thermostat
One of the best ways to regulate your home’s HVAC system while away from home is with a smart thermostat. This advanced type of programmable thermostat employs intelligent software to understand your preferred comfort habits. It applies these preferences and makes automatic changes to the schedule for higher energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi compatibility, you can remotely access your heating and cooling using a smart device like a phone or tablet.
Smart thermostats are packed with features to help you save on your energy bill. To provide an example, specific models can track electricity prices to bolster heating or cooling when prices are more affordable. They are compatible with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to refine how long your HVAC system has to run. It’s the optimal tool to simplify how you use your comfort system. If you’re planning on investing in a smart thermostat, there are a variety of ways you can bring down your costs, effectively 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 from home.