Between a relaxing vacation or an extended trip for work, traveling means making preparations for your heating and cooling system. You don't need it while you’re not home, 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 gone.
Instead, it’s ideal to leave your HVAC system going and adjust the temperature depending on whether it's winter or summer. That way you can reduce energy costs without having to worry about getting back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll review why you should avoid turning your HVAC system off as well as the best thermostat settings for summer and winter.
Here’s Why You Don't Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you may be wanting to shut your HVAC system down before a trip, this can end up causing costly problems by the time you get back. This is especially true in case the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re out of town.
As an example, shutting the HVAC system down in the summer could produce very high humidity. Not only will your home feel like a swamp when you come back, but it could have also encouraged mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And in the winter, letting your house get cold will sometimes lead to pipes freezing up or even bursting. It’s exhausting to come home from a long trip only to find considerable 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 around 8 hours or so, it doesn’t seem sensible to keep an empty home at the same temperature you’d usually have. Generally, it’s encouraged to raise the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. That means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, think about 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. As reported by the Department of Energy, you might save nearly 10% on your HVAC spending by increasing the adjustment to 7-10 degrees.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Summer
If you leave for an extended trip in the heart of summer, you can make larger adjustments. This helps you avoid using too much energy while still safeguarding your home from the problems that come with leaving it without air conditioning. About 5 degrees is recommended for short trips while a larger adjustment of 10 degrees is best if you’ll be away from home for 2 weeks or longer. If you like keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 can offer the best results.
Recommended Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Winter
To determine the most energy-efficient thermostat setting for a winter vacation, consider lowering the temperature by the same amount you would adjust it in summer. 68 is a common winter thermostat setting, so lowering it to 63-58 will prevent ice from forming on pipes while limiting how often your furnace operates.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Advantages of a Smart Thermostat
One of the best ways to optimize your home’s HVAC system while away is with a smart thermostat. This advanced type of programmable thermostat uses intelligent software to monitor your preferred comfort habits. It learns these preferences and makes automatic changes to the schedule for better energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi connectivity, you can remotely access your HVAC system with a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are packed with features to help you save on your energy bill. For instance, some models can monitor electricity prices to bolster heating or cooling when prices are lower. They can also work with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to optimize how long your HVAC system should run. It’s the optimal tool to simplify how you use your comfort system. If you’re planning on investing in a smart thermostat, there are multiple ways you can reduce your costs, essentially 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.