From a much-needed vacation or a lengthy trip for work, taking a trip means making plans for your home comfort system. You won’t be using it if you’re away, so you can adjust the temperature as needed to conserve your energy use. Simultaneously, you shouldn't just leave it off for the entire time you're gone.
For the most part, it’s better to leave your HVAC system on and adjust the temperature depending on the time of year. That way you can minimize energy costs without having to worry about returning to an uncomfortable home. We’ll walk you through why you should leave your HVAC system on 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 might be inclined to turn your HVAC system off before a trip, this will sometimes end up causing costly problems by the time you get back. This is notably true in case the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re away from home.
As an example, shutting the HVAC system down in the summer can lead to very high humidity. Not only will your home feel gross when you come back, but it may have also encouraged mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And during the winter, leaving the furnace off will sometimes lead to pipes freezing up or even bursting. It’s never fun to get home from a long trip only to discover substantial water damage near a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can optimize the temperature even as you come and go to work. Because you’re away for around 8 hours or so, it doesn’t make sense to keep an empty home heated or cooled as if you were there. In general, it’s recommended to raise the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. This means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, think about adjusting it to 76-77 while you’re gone.
But you may save even more if you try further adjustments to the temperature. As reported by the Department of Energy, you could save around 10% on your HVAC spending by making an adjustment of 7-10 degrees.
Best Thermostat Settings While on a Trip in Summer
If you’re leaving for a lengthier trip in the heart of summer, you can make more significant adjustments. This helps you avoid using too much energy while still protecting your home from the problems that come with leaving it un-air conditioned. Something like 5 degrees is recommended for short trips while a larger adjustment of 10 degrees is ideal 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 can offer great results.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Winter
To figure out the most energy-efficient thermostat setting for a winter getaway, just lower 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 minimizing how long your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Advantages of a Smart Thermostat
A great way to regulate your home’s HVAC system while away is by investing in a smart thermostat. This advanced type of programmable thermostat uses intelligent software to track your preferred comfort habits. It learns these preferences and makes automatic adjustments to the schedule for better energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi compatibility, you can remotely adjust your heating and cooling with a smartphone or tablet.
Smart thermostats are loaded with features to help you save even more. For example, specific 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 refine how long your HVAC system should run. It’s the optimal tool to enhance how you use your comfort system. If you’re thinking about 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 stir up any trouble while you’re away.