From a relaxing vacation or an extended trip for work, leaving home means making plans for your heating and cooling system. You don't need it while you’re on a trip, so you can adjust the temperature as necessary to minimize your energy use. At the same time, you shouldn't just turn it off for the entire time you're gone.
Instead, it’s better to leave your HVAC system on and just make adjustments depending on the time of year. That way you can lower energy costs without stressing about getting back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll review why you should leave your HVAC system on as well as the best thermostat settings for different times of year.
Here’s Why You Avoid Leaving Your Thermostat on Hold
While you could be wanting to turn your HVAC system off before a trip, this can end up stirring up annoying 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, turning the HVAC system off during the summer can cause very high humidity. Not only will your home feel like a swamp when you come back, but it might have also invited mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And over the winter, not using the furnace could lead to pipes freezing up or even bursting. It’s never fun to get home from a vacation only to discover substantial 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 away for 8 hours or more, it doesn’t help your monthly energy bill to keep an empty home at the same temperature you’d usually have. In general, it’s suggested to turn up the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. Meaning that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, try adjusting it to 76-77 while you’re gone.
But you can save even more if you try further adjustments to the temperature. As reported by the Department of Energy, you may save nearly 10% on your HVAC expenses by raising the temperature by about 7-10 degrees.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Summer
If you leave for a longer trip in the heart of summer, you can make larger adjustments. This ensures you don’t waste energy while still protecting your home from the hassles that come with leaving it without air conditioning. Something like 5 degrees is suitable for short trips while a larger adjustment of 10 degrees is worthwhile if you’ll be out of town for 2 weeks or longer. If you prefer keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 can offer beneficial results.
Recommended Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Winter
To determine the best thermostat setting for a winter vacation, simply lower it by the same amount you would adjust 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 long your furnace operates.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Perks of a Smart Thermostat
A great way 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 track your typical comfort habits. It applies these preferences and makes automatic changes to the schedule for better energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi connectivity, you can remotely adjust your heating and cooling with a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are stuffed with features to help you save even more. For instance, specific models can track electricity prices to boost heating or cooling when prices are more affordable. They can be used with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to optimize how long your HVAC system has to run. It’s the ideal tool to streamline how you control your comfort system. If you’re considering investing in a smart thermostat, there are a variety of ways you can lower your costs, essentially getting a smart thermostat for free. The next time you are away from home, you can appreciate true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t cause any trouble while you’re away from home.