From a tropical vacation or a long trip for work, taking a trip means making preparations for your HVAC system. You don't need it if you’re not home, so you can adjust it as needed to limit your energy use. Just the same, you don’t want to just leave it off for the entire duration of your trip.
For the most part, it’s ideal to leave your HVAC system running and just raise or lower depending on whether it's winter or summer. That way you can minimize energy costs without worrying about returning to an uncomfortable home. We’ll review why you should avoid turning your HVAC system off 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 may be wanting to shut your HVAC system down before a trip, this will sometimes end up stirring up big problems by the time you return. This is particularly true in case the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re gone.
As an example, shutting the HVAC system down during the summer will sometimes cause very high humidity. Not only will your home feel muggy and uncomfortable when you return, but it might have also stimulated mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And over the winter, not using the furnace will sometimes lead to pipes icing over or even bursting. It’s exhausting to get home from a long trip only to discover extensive water damage nearby a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can optimize the temperature even when you're just going to work. Because you’re not home for around 8 hours or so, it doesn’t seem sensible to keep an empty home the same temperature as when you're home. Generally, it’s encouraged to adjust the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. Meaning that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, try increasing it to 76-77 while you’re gone.
But you can save even more if you try further adjustments to the temperature. As stated by the Department of Energy, you may save around 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 leaving for a longer trip in the hottest part of summer, you can make bigger adjustments. This prevents wasting energy while still defending your home from the hassles that come with leaving it uncooled. Around 5 degrees is appropriate for short trips while around 10 degrees is best 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 will offer great results.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Winter
To figure out the best thermostat setting for a winter trip, consider lowering the temperature 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 keep your plumbing safe while restricting how often your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Benefits of a Smart Thermostat
One of the best ways to manage your home’s HVAC system while out of the house is with a smart thermostat. This special type of programmable thermostat uses intelligent software to understand your usual comfort habits. It gradually understands these preferences and makes automatic changes to the schedule for higher energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi compatibility, you can remotely control your HVAC system using a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are packed with features to help you save energy and lower costs. For example, some models can track electricity prices to boost heating or cooling when prices are more affordable. They can also work with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to fine-tune how long your HVAC system has to run. It’s the ideal tool to enhance how you control your comfort system. If you’re thinking about investing in a smart thermostat, there are different ways you can bring down your costs, effectively 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 cause any trouble while you’re away.