Between 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 not home, 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 duration of your trip.
Instead, it’s ideal to leave your HVAC system going and just raise or lower depending on the time of year. That way you can minimize energy costs without worrying about coming back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll walk you through why you should leave your HVAC system on as well as the most energy-efficient thermostat settings for various times of year.
Here’s Why You Don't Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you may be wanting to shut your HVAC system down before a trip, this can end up causing big problems by the time you get back. This is particularly true if the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re away from home.
For instance, turning the HVAC system off in the summer can lead to 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 up or even bursting. It’s never fun to get home from a nice trip only to find substantial water damage nearby a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can adjust the temperature even as you come and go to work. Because 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 encouraged to raise the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. That means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, think about increasing it to 76-77 while you’re at work.
But you can save even more if you're open to further adjusting the temperature. As stated by the Department of Energy, you could save around 10% on your HVAC spending by making an adjustment of 7-10 degrees.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While on a Trip in Summer
If you're on a lengthier trip in the middle of summer, you can make bigger adjustments. This prevents wasting energy while still protecting your home from the hassles that come with leaving it uncooled. Around 5 degrees is suitable for brief trips while around 10 degrees is worthwhile if you’ll be out of town for 2 weeks or longer. If you prefer keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 can offer beneficial results.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Winter
To try and find the best thermostat setting for a winter vacation, consider lowering 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 protect your plumbing while minimizing how often your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Advantages of a Smart Thermostat
One of the best ways to regulate your home’s HVAC system while out of the house is with a smart thermostat. This innovative type of programmable thermostat employs intelligent software to understand your typical comfort habits. It applies these preferences and makes automatic adjustments to the schedule for better energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi connectivity, you can remotely access your HVAC system with a smart device like a phone or tablet.
Smart thermostats are loaded with features to help you save even more. For instance, some models can track electricity prices to increase heating or cooling when prices are more affordable. They are compatible with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to refine how long your HVAC system needs to run. It’s the perfect tool to simplify how you use your comfort system. If you’re considering investing in a smart thermostat, there are a variety of ways you can reduce your costs, essentially getting a smart thermostat for free. The next time you leave for vacation, you can receive true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t cause any trouble while you’re gone.