Between a tropical vacation or a long trip for work, leaving home means making plans for your heating and cooling system. You can't use it while you’re on a trip, so you can adjust the temperature as appropriate to limit your energy use. Simultaneously, you shouldn't just turn it off for the entire time you're gone.
For the most part, it’s better to leave your HVAC system on and just make adjustments depending on the time of year. That way you can minimize energy costs without stressing about getting back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll walk you through why you shouldn’t turn your HVAC system off as well as the best thermostat settings for various times of year.
Here’s Why You Avoid Leaving Your Thermostat on Hold
While you may be wanting to turn your HVAC system off before a trip, this could end up stirring up annoying 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.
For example, switching the HVAC system down during the summer could lead to very high humidity. Not only will your home feel gross when you return, but it may have also invited mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And over the winter, not using the furnace might lead to pipes freezing or even bursting. It’s an awful feeling to return home from a vacation only to discover considerable water damage near a broken pipe.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can make temperature adjustments even as you come and go to work. Since you’re away for about 8 hours or longer, it doesn’t make sense to keep an empty home at the same temperature you’d usually have. In general, it’s recommended to turn up the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. Meaning 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 try further adjustments to the temperature. As stated by 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 on a longer trip in the middle of summer, you can make bigger adjustments. This ensures you don’t waste energy while still defending your home from the hassles that come with leaving it un-air conditioned. About 5 degrees is suitable for brief trips while a larger adjustment of 10 degrees is best if you’ll be gone for 2 weeks or longer. If you enjoy keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 will offer beneficial results.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Winter
To try and find the best thermostat setting for a winter getaway, consider lowering the temperature by the same amount you would raise it in summer. 68 is a popular winter thermostat setting, so turning it down to 63-58 will prevent ice from forming on pipes while limiting how frequently your furnace operates.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Perks of a Smart Thermostat
A great way to optimize your home’s HVAC system while away from home is by investing in 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 corrections to the schedule for maximum energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi compatibility, you can remotely control your heating and cooling from a smart device like a phone or tablet.
Smart thermostats are loaded with features to help you save even more. To provide an example, certain models can track electricity prices to bolster heating or cooling when prices are lower. 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 enhance how you use your comfort system. If you’re thinking about investing in a smart thermostat, there are different ways you can lower your costs, in essence getting a smart thermostat for free. The next time you leave for vacation, you can enjoy true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t cause any trouble while you’re away.