From a much-needed vacation or a long trip for work, traveling means making preparations for your HVAC system. You won’t be using it as long as you’re on a trip, so you can adjust the temperature as appropriate to conserve your energy use. At the same time, you don’t want to just shut it down for the entire time you're out of the house.
In general, it’s ideal to leave your HVAC system running and adjust the temperature depending on the season. That way you can minimize energy costs without having to worry about returning to an uncomfortable home. We’ll explain why you shouldn’t turn your HVAC system off as well as the best thermostat settings for summer and winter.
Here’s Why You Avoid Leaving Your Thermostat on Hold
While you might be tempted to leave your HVAC system off before a trip, this will sometimes end up causing costly problems by the time you come back. This is especially 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 cause very high humidity. Not only will your home feel like a swamp when you come back, but it could have also stimulated mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And over the winter, leaving the furnace off will sometimes lead to pipes icing over or even bursting. It’s an awful feeling to come home from a long trip only to discover considerable water damage nearby a broken pipe.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can make temperature adjustments even as you come and go to work. Considering you’re out of the house for about 8 hours or longer, it doesn’t make sense to keep an empty home heated or cooled as if you were there. In general, it’s suggested to adjust 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 gone.
But you could save even more if you try further adjustments to the temperature. As stated by the Department of Energy, you might save around 10% on your HVAC spending by making an adjustment of 7-10 degrees.
Best Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Summer
If you leave for a lengthier trip in the middle of summer, you can make larger adjustments. This prevents wasting energy while still protecting your home from the problems that come with leaving it un-air conditioned. Something like 5 degrees is appropriate for brief trips while a larger adjustment of 10 degrees is worthwhile if you’ll be gone for 2 weeks or more. 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 figure out the most energy-efficient thermostat setting for a winter getaway, just lower the temperature by the same amount you would raise it in summer. 68 is a frequent winter thermostat setting, so lowering it 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
An ideal strategy to regulate your home’s HVAC system while away is with a smart thermostat. This innovative type of programmable thermostat uses intelligent software to monitor your usual comfort habits. It learns these preferences and makes automatic adjustments to the schedule for better energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi integration, you can remotely access your heating and cooling with a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are packed with features to help you save even more. To provide an example, specific models can observe electricity prices to boost heating or cooling when prices are lowest. They can be used with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to fine-tune how long your HVAC system has to run. It’s the perfect tool to streamline how you use your comfort system. If you’re planning on investing in a smart thermostat, there are multiple ways you can lower your costs, in essence getting a smart thermostat for free. The next time you are away from home, you can enjoy true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t cause any trouble while you’re away from home.