Between a much-needed vacation or a long trip for work, traveling means making preparations for your home comfort system. You don't need it as long as you’re not home, so you can make adjustments as necessary to limit your energy use. Just the same, you shouldn't just leave it off for the entire duration of your trip.
For the most part, it’s ideal to leave your HVAC system on and just make adjustments depending on whether it's winter or summer. That way you can reduce energy costs without having to worry about returning to an uncomfortable home. We’ll review why you should avoid turning your HVAC system off as well as the ideal thermostat settings for summer and winter.
Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you could be wanting to leave your HVAC system off before a trip, this can end up stirring up annoying problems by the time you come back. This is notably true when the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re gone.
For instance, shutting the HVAC system off in the summer can cause very high humidity. Not only will your home feel muggy and uncomfortable when you return, but it could have also invited mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And during the winter, not using the furnace will sometimes lead to pipes freezing up or even bursting. It’s an awful feeling to come home from a long trip only to discover extensive water damage near a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can make temperature adjustments even as you come and go to work. Since you’re not home 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 recommended to turn up the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. This means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, try 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 might save nearly 10% on your HVAC spending by making an adjustment of 7-10 degrees.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Summer
If you leave for a lengthier trip in the hottest part of summer, you can make more significant adjustments. This ensures you don’t waste energy while still safeguarding your home from the problems that come with leaving it without air conditioning. Something like 5 degrees is appropriate for short trips while closer to 10 degrees is ideal if you’ll be away from home for 2 weeks or more. If you enjoy keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 can offer the best results.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Winter
To try and find the best thermostat setting for a winter trip, consider lowering the temperature by the same amount you would increase it in summer. 68 is a frequent winter thermostat setting, so lowering it to 63-58 will prevent ice from forming on pipes while restricting how long your furnace operates.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Advantages of a Smart Thermostat
An ideal strategy to regulate your home’s HVAC system while away from home is using a smart thermostat. This innovative type of programmable thermostat employs intelligent software to monitor your usual comfort habits. It applies these preferences and makes automatic adjustments to the schedule for better energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi connectivity, you can remotely access your heating and cooling from a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are packed with features to help you save on your energy bill. For example, certain models can track electricity prices to bolster heating or cooling when prices are lower. They are compatible with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to optimize how long your HVAC system needs to run. It’s the optimal tool to enhance how you control your comfort system. If you’re considering investing in a smart thermostat, there are multiple ways you can lower your costs, in essence getting a smart thermostat for free. The next time you are away from home, you can enjoy true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t cause any trouble while you’re gone.