From a tropical vacation or a long trip for work, leaving home means making plans for your home comfort system. You won’t be using it while you’re not home, so you can make adjustments as necessary to conserve your energy use. Just the same, you shouldn't just leave it off for the entire duration of your trip.
In general, it’s ideal to leave your HVAC system running and adjust the temperature depending on the time of year. That way you can minimize energy costs without stressing about returning 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 summer and winter.
Here’s Why You Avoid Leaving Your Thermostat on Hold
While you could be inclined to turn your HVAC system off before a trip, this can end up leading to annoying problems by the time you return. This is particularly true when the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re gone.
For instance, shutting the HVAC system off during the summer can cause very high humidity. Not only will your home feel gross when you return, but it might have also invited mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And over the winter, letting your house get cold might lead to pipes freezing up or even bursting. It’s exhausting to come home from a vacation only to come across considerable water damage nearby a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can make temperature adjustments even when you're just going to work. Because you’re out of the house for about 8 hours or longer, it doesn’t seem sensible to keep an empty home the same temperature as when you're home. In general, it’s recommended to adjust the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. That means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, try adjusting it to 76-77 while you’re at work.
But you can save even more if you’re willing to further adjust the temperature. According to the Department of Energy, you might save around 10% on your HVAC expenses by raising the temperature by about 7-10 degrees.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Summer
If you’re leaving for a lengthier trip in the heart of summer, you can make more significant adjustments. This prevents wasting energy while still defending your home from the issues that come with leaving it un-air conditioned. About 5 degrees is appropriate for short trips while around 10 degrees is worthwhile if you’ll be away from home for 2 weeks or longer. If you enjoy keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 should offer beneficial results.
Recommended Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Winter
To try and find the best thermostat setting for a winter vacation, just lower the temperature by the same amount you would increase it in summer. 68 is a frequent winter thermostat setting, so lowering it to 63-58 will prevent ice from forming on pipes while minimizing how often your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Benefits of a Smart Thermostat
An ideal strategy to manage 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 track your usual comfort habits. It applies these preferences and makes automatic adjustments to the schedule for higher energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi compatibility, you can remotely adjust your heating and cooling with a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are loaded with features to help you save even more. To provide an example, some models can track electricity prices to increase heating or cooling when prices are lower. They can also work with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to refine how long your HVAC system needs to run. It’s the optimal tool to enhance how you control your comfort system. If you’re planning on investing in a smart thermostat, there are a variety of ways you can lower your costs, effectively 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 away from home.