Between a relaxing vacation or a lengthy trip for work, leaving home means making plans for your heating and cooling system. You don't need it if you’re not home, so you can adjust it as necessary to limit your energy use. Just the same, you don’t want to just shut it down for the entire duration of your trip.
For the most part, it’s best to leave your HVAC system going and just make adjustments depending on the time of year. That way you can reduce energy costs without having to worry about getting back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll walk you through why you should leave your HVAC system on as well as the best thermostat settings for various times of year.
Here’s Why You Don't Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you might be wanting to leave your HVAC system off before a trip, this will sometimes end up stirring up annoying problems by the time you get back. This is particularly true in case the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re gone.
As an example, shutting the HVAC system down during the summer will sometimes lead to very high humidity. Not only will your home feel gross when you come back, but it could have also invited mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And in the winter, letting your house get cold might lead to pipes icing over or even bursting. It’s exhausting to come home from a vacation only to find extensive 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 not home 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 suggested to raise the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. This means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, think about increasing it to 76-77 while you’re gone.
But you can save even more if you try further adjustments to the temperature. According to the Department of Energy, you could save about 10% on your HVAC costs 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 hottest part of summer, you can make bigger adjustments. This ensures you don’t waste energy while still safeguarding your home from the issues that come with leaving it without air conditioning. Something like 5 degrees is recommended for brief trips while around 10 degrees is best 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 should offer beneficial results.
Best Thermostat Settings While on Vacation 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 frequent winter thermostat setting, so adjusting to 63-58 will keep your plumbing safe while restricting how frequently your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Advantages of a Smart Thermostat
An ideal strategy to optimize your home’s HVAC system while away is by investing in 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 maximum energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi integration, you can remotely access your heating and cooling using a smart device like a phone or tablet.
Smart thermostats are stuffed with features to help you save even more. For instance, specific models can observe electricity prices to increase heating or cooling when prices are more affordable. They can be used with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to optimize how long your HVAC system needs to run. It’s the ideal tool to streamline how you control your comfort system. If you’re planning on investing in a smart thermostat, there are different 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 stir up any trouble while you’re away.