Between a tropical vacation or a long trip for work, traveling means making preparations for your HVAC system. You don't need it as long as you’re on a trip, so you can adjust it as needed to limit your energy use. At the same time, you don’t want to just turn it off for the entire time you're out of the house.
In general, it’s best to leave your HVAC system running and just raise or lower depending on the season. That way you can reduce energy costs without stressing about coming back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll explain why you should avoid turning your HVAC system off as well as the best thermostat settings for different times of year.
Here’s Why You Don't Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you may be wanting to leave your HVAC system off before a trip, this could end up stirring up annoying problems by the time you return. This is particularly true in case the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re gone.
For instance, turning the HVAC system off in the summer could cause very high humidity. Not only will your home feel like a swamp when you return, but it might have also invited mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And during the winter, not using the furnace could lead to pipes freezing up or even bursting. It’s exhausting to get home from a nice trip only to find considerable water damage nearby a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can adjust the temperature even when you're just going to work. Since you’re out of the house 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 suggested to turn up the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. This means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, consider raising it to 76-77 while you’re out.
But you could save even more if you're open to further adjusting the temperature. As reported by the Department of Energy, you may save around 10% on your HVAC costs by increasing the adjustment to 7-10 degrees.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Summer
If you're on a lengthier trip in the hottest part of summer, you can make more significant adjustments. This prevents wasting energy while still protecting your home from the issues that come with leaving it un-air conditioned. About 5 degrees is suitable for short trips while a larger adjustment of 10 degrees is best if you’ll be away from home for 2 weeks or more. If you like keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 will offer the best results.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While On a Trip in Winter
To determine the ideal thermostat setting for a winter vacation, just lower the temperature by the same amount you would adjust it in summer. 68 is a common winter thermostat setting, so adjusting to 63-58 will prevent ice from forming on pipes while minimizing how frequently your furnace runs.
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 with a smart thermostat. This advanced type of programmable thermostat employs intelligent software to understand your usual comfort habits. It gradually understands these preferences and makes automatic changes to the schedule for maximum energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi compatibility, you can remotely adjust your HVAC system with a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are stuffed with features to help you save energy and lower costs. To provide an example, certain models can observe electricity prices to bolster heating or cooling when prices are lower. They are compatible with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to refine how long your HVAC system should 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, in essence getting a smart thermostat for free. The next time you are away from home, you can appreciate true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t stir up any trouble while you’re away.