From a tropical vacation or a lengthy trip for work, traveling means making preparations for your heating and cooling system. You don't need it as long as you’re away, so you can adjust it as necessary to limit your energy use. Just the same, you don’t want to just shut it down for the entire time you're gone.
Instead, it’s better to leave your HVAC system on and adjust the temperature depending on the season. That way you can lower energy costs without having to worry about getting back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll review why you should leave your HVAC system on as well as the most energy-efficient thermostat settings for various times of year.
Here’s Why You Don't Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you might be wanting to turn your HVAC system off before a trip, this will sometimes end up causing costly problems by the time you return. This is notably true when the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re away from home.
For example, switching the HVAC system off in the summer will sometimes produce very high humidity. Not only will your home feel muggy and uncomfortable when you come back, but it may have also invited mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And in the winter, letting your house get cold could lead to pipes freezing up or even bursting. It’s an awful feeling to return home from a long trip only to come across considerable water damage close to a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can optimize the temperature even if you’re coming and going to work. Since 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 recommended to adjust the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. This means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, try increasing it to 76-77 while you’re at work.
But you can save even more if you’re willing to further adjust the temperature. According to the Department of Energy, you might save nearly 10% on your HVAC costs by raising the temperature by about 7-10 degrees.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Summer
If you’re leaving for a lengthier trip in the heart of summer, you can make larger adjustments. This prevents wasting energy while still defending your home from the hassles that come with leaving it un-air conditioned. About 5 degrees is suitable for short trips while around 10 degrees is best 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 will offer the best results.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Winter
To figure out the best thermostat setting for a winter getaway, simply lower it by the same amount you would adjust it in summer. 68 is a popular winter thermostat setting, so adjusting to 63-58 will protect your plumbing while minimizing how frequently your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Advantages of a Smart Thermostat
A great way to optimize your home’s HVAC system while away is with a smart thermostat. This innovative type of programmable thermostat uses intelligent software to monitor your usual comfort habits. It applies these preferences and makes automatic corrections to the schedule for maximum energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi integration, you can remotely adjust your heating and cooling using a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are packed with features to help you save on your energy bill. 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 fine-tune how long your HVAC system should run. It’s the perfect tool to enhance how you use your comfort system. If you’re considering investing in a smart thermostat, there are different ways you can reduce your costs, essentially 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 stir up any trouble while you’re away.