Between a tropical vacation or a lengthy trip for work, taking a trip means making plans for your home comfort system. You can't use it if you’re not home, so you can adjust it as appropriate to conserve your energy use. At the same time, you shouldn't just leave it off for the entire time you're out of the house.
For the most part, it’s ideal to leave your HVAC system going and just raise or lower 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 avoid turning your HVAC system off as well as the ideal thermostat settings for various times of year.
Here’s Why You Don't Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you could be wanting to shut your HVAC system down before a trip, this could end up causing costly problems by the time you come back. This is especially true when the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re out of town.
For example, switching the HVAC system down during the summer could cause very high humidity. Not only will your home feel like a swamp when you have returned, but it could have also stimulated mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And over the winter, not using the furnace can lead to pipes freezing up or even bursting. It’s an awful feeling to get home from a vacation only to come across extensive water damage near a broken pipe.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can adjust the temperature even if you’re coming and going to work. Considering you’re not home for about 8 hours or longer, it doesn’t help your monthly energy bill to keep an empty home heated or cooled as if you were there. As a general rule, it’s encouraged to turn up the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. This means 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're open to further adjusting the temperature. As stated by the Department of Energy, you might save nearly 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 bigger adjustments. This ensures you don’t waste energy while still protecting your home from the problems that come with leaving it uncooled. About 5 degrees is recommended for brief trips while closer to 10 degrees is best if you’ll be away from home for 2 weeks or longer. If you prefer keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 can offer beneficial results.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Winter
To try and find the ideal 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 lowering it to 63-58 will prevent ice from forming on pipes while restricting how frequently your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Advantages of a Smart Thermostat
An ideal strategy to regulate your home’s HVAC system while out of the house is using a smart thermostat. This innovative type of programmable thermostat uses intelligent software to understand your usual comfort habits. It learns these preferences and makes automatic changes to the schedule for better energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi compatibility, you can remotely access your HVAC system with a smartphone or tablet.
Smart thermostats are packed with features to help you save energy and lower costs. For instance, some models can observe electricity prices to bolster heating or cooling when prices are lower. They can be used with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to refine how long your HVAC system has to run. It’s the optimal tool to simplify how you control your comfort system. If you’re planning on investing in a smart thermostat, there are a variety of ways you can reduce your costs, in essence 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 stir up any trouble while you’re away from home.