From a relaxing vacation or a long trip for work, traveling means making plans for your HVAC system. You don't need it if you’re on a trip, so you can adjust it as appropriate to minimize your energy use. Just the same, you shouldn't just shut it down for the entire duration of your trip.
Instead, it’s best to leave your HVAC system going 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 explain why you should leave your HVAC system on as well as the ideal thermostat settings for different times of year.
Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you might be wanting to turn your HVAC system off before a trip, this can end up stirring up costly problems by the time you return. This is notably true in case the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re gone.
For instance, shutting the HVAC system down in the summer will sometimes cause very high humidity. Not only will your home feel gross when you return, but it may have also stimulated mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And over the winter, letting your house get cold could lead to pipes freezing up or even bursting. It’s exhausting to get home from a nice trip only to come across substantial water damage close to a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can make temperature adjustments even as you come and go to work. Because 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. In general, it’s recommended to adjust the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. That means 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 reported by the Department of Energy, you may save about 10% on your HVAC spending by making an adjustment of 7-10 degrees.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Summer
If you're on an extended trip in the hottest part of summer, you can make more significant adjustments. This prevents wasting energy while still defending your home from the problems that come with leaving it uncooled. Around 5 degrees is recommended for shorter trips while a larger adjustment of 10 degrees is worthwhile if you’ll be gone for 2 weeks or longer. If you prefer keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 should offer beneficial results.
Best Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Winter
To figure out the best thermostat setting for a winter getaway, consider lowering the temperature by the same amount you would adjust it in summer. 68 is a frequent winter thermostat setting, so adjusting to 63-58 will keep your plumbing safe while limiting how often your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Perks of a Smart Thermostat
A great way to optimize your home’s HVAC system while out of the house is with a smart thermostat. This advanced type of programmable thermostat uses intelligent software to track your typical comfort habits. It gradually understands these preferences and makes automatic changes to the schedule for maximum energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi integration, you can remotely adjust your HVAC system using a smartphone or tablet.
Smart thermostats are packed with features to help you save on your energy bill. For instance, specific models can track electricity prices to boost heating or cooling when prices are lowest. 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 enhance how you control your comfort system. If you’re planning on investing in a smart thermostat, there are different ways you can bring down your costs, essentially 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 stir up any trouble while you’re gone.