Between a tropical vacation or an extended trip for work, traveling means making preparations for your HVAC system. You don't need it while you’re on a trip, so you can adjust the temperature as necessary to limit your energy use. Just the same, you don’t want to just leave it off for the entire time you're gone.
For the most part, it’s better to leave your HVAC system running and adjust the temperature depending on the season. That way you can lower energy costs without worrying 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 most energy-efficient thermostat settings for different times of year.
Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you may be tempted to leave your HVAC system off before a trip, this will sometimes end up stirring up costly problems by the time you come back. This is especially true in case the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re away from home.
As an example, switching the HVAC system off during the summer can lead to very high humidity. Not only will your home feel muggy and uncomfortable when you return, but it could have also stimulated mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And over the winter, leaving the furnace off can lead to pipes freezing or even bursting. It’s an awful feeling 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 adjust the temperature even if you’re coming and going to work. Since you’re away for 8 hours or more, it doesn’t seem sensible to keep an empty home heated or cooled as if you were there. Generally, it’s encouraged to turn up the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. This means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, consider raising it to 76-77 while you’re at work.
But you may save even more if you’re willing to further adjust 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 Vacation in Summer
If you leave for a lengthier trip in the heart of summer, you can make more significant adjustments. This ensures you don’t waste energy while still safeguarding your home from the issues that come with leaving it un-air conditioned. About 5 degrees is suitable for short trips while closer to 10 degrees is worthwhile if you’ll be gone for 2 weeks or longer. If you enjoy keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 will offer the best results.
Recommended Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Winter
To try and find the ideal thermostat setting for a winter trip, consider lowering the temperature by the same amount you would adjust it in summer. 68 is a popular winter thermostat setting, so adjusting to 63-58 will keep your plumbing safe while minimizing how often your furnace operates.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Perks of a Smart Thermostat
A great way to regulate your home’s HVAC system while out of the house is using a smart thermostat. This advanced type of programmable thermostat employs intelligent software to monitor your preferred comfort habits. It gradually understands these preferences and makes automatic adjustments to the schedule for higher energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi integration, you can remotely adjust your heating and cooling from a smart device like a phone or tablet.
Smart thermostats are stuffed with features to help you save on your energy bill. For example, certain models can track electricity prices to bolster heating or cooling when prices are lowest. They can also work with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to optimize how long your HVAC system should run. It’s the perfect tool to simplify how you control your comfort system. If you’re thinking about investing in a smart thermostat, there are multiple ways you can reduce your costs, effectively 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 gone.