From a much-needed vacation or an extended trip for work, traveling means making preparations for your home comfort system. You won’t be using it if you’re not home, so you can make adjustments as needed to limit your energy use. At the same time, you don’t want to just turn it off for the entire time you're gone.
Instead, it’s best to leave your HVAC system running and just make adjustments depending on the time of year. That way you can minimize energy costs without having to worry about coming back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll review why you should avoid turning your HVAC system off as well as the best thermostat settings for different times of year.
Here’s Why You Avoid Leaving Your Thermostat on Hold
While you may be wanting to shut your HVAC system down before a trip, this can end up causing annoying problems by the time you return. This is notably true in case the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re out of town.
As an example, switching the HVAC system off during the summer can lead to very high humidity. Not only will your home feel gross when you come back, but it might have also encouraged mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And during the winter, letting your house get cold might lead to pipes icing over or even bursting. It’s never fun to get home from a long trip only to come across considerable water damage close to a broken pipe.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can adjust the temperature even if you’re coming and going to work. Considering you’re out of the house for around 8 hours or so, 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 recommended to turn up the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. That means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, consider raising it to 76-77 while you’re out.
But you can save even more if you're open to further adjusting the temperature. As reported by the Department of Energy, you may save about 10% on your HVAC costs by increasing the adjustment to 7-10 degrees.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Summer
If you leave for a lengthier trip in the hottest part of summer, you can make larger adjustments. This ensures you don’t waste energy while still protecting your home from the issues that come with leaving it without air conditioning. About 5 degrees is recommended for shorter trips while around 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 will offer the best results.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Winter
To figure out the most energy-efficient thermostat setting for a winter vacation, simply lower it by the same amount you would increase it in summer. 68 is a popular winter thermostat setting, so adjusting to 63-58 will prevent ice from forming on pipes while limiting how frequently your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Perks of a Smart Thermostat
An ideal strategy to manage your home’s HVAC system while away is using a smart thermostat. This innovative type of programmable thermostat utilizes intelligent software to understand your usual comfort habits. It gradually understands these preferences and makes automatic corrections 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 stuffed with features to help you save even more. To provide an example, specific models can monitor electricity prices to increase heating or cooling when prices are lower. They are compatible with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to optimize how long your HVAC system should run. It’s the ideal tool to enhance how you use your comfort system. If you’re planning on investing in a smart thermostat, there are multiple ways you can lower your costs, effectively getting a smart thermostat for free. The next time you leave for vacation, you can appreciate true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t stir up any trouble while you’re away.