Between a much-needed vacation or a lengthy trip for work, taking a trip 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 appropriate to conserve your energy use. Simultaneously, you don’t want to just shut it down for the entire time you're gone.
In general, it’s ideal to leave your HVAC system on and just make adjustments depending on the season. That way you can minimize energy costs without stressing about returning to an uncomfortable home. We’ll review why you shouldn’t turn your HVAC system off 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 tempted to shut your HVAC system down before a trip, this could end up leading to costly problems by the time you get back. This is especially true when the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re gone.
For instance, switching the HVAC system down during the summer can produce very high humidity. Not only will your home feel like a swamp when you have returned, but it may have also encouraged mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And over the winter, leaving the furnace off might lead to pipes icing over or even bursting. It’s an awful feeling to come home from a long trip only to discover substantial water damage close to a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can make temperature adjustments even if you’re coming and going to work. Because you’re away for about 8 hours or longer, it doesn’t seem sensible to keep an empty home at the same temperature you’d usually have. In general, it’s encouraged 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 can save even more if you try further adjustments to the temperature. As stated by the Department of Energy, you may save about 10% on your HVAC spending by raising the temperature by about 7-10 degrees.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While on a Trip in Summer
If you're on an extended trip in the middle of summer, you can make larger adjustments. This helps you avoid using too much energy while still protecting your home from the issues that come with leaving it without air conditioning. Something like 5 degrees is recommended for shorter trips while around 10 degrees is ideal if you’ll be out of town for 2 weeks or more. If you like keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 will offer beneficial results.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Winter
To determine the best thermostat setting for a winter getaway, just lower the temperature by the same amount you would increase it in summer. 68 is a common winter thermostat setting, so adjusting to 63-58 will protect your plumbing while restricting how frequently your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Benefits of a Smart Thermostat
One of the best ways to regulate your home’s HVAC system while away from home is using a smart thermostat. This advanced type of programmable thermostat uses intelligent software to understand your typical comfort habits. It applies these preferences and makes automatic corrections to the schedule for maximum energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi compatibility, you can remotely adjust your HVAC system using a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are loaded with features to help you save even more. For instance, certain models can monitor electricity prices to boost heating or cooling when prices are lower. They can also work with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to optimize how long your HVAC system needs to run. It’s the perfect tool to simplify how you use your comfort system. If you’re thinking about 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 receive true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t stir up any trouble while you’re away.