From a much-needed vacation or an extended trip for work, taking a trip means making plans for your heating and cooling system. You don't need it if you’re on a trip, so you can adjust the temperature as necessary 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.
In general, it’s better to leave your HVAC system running and adjust the temperature depending on whether it's winter or summer. That way you can minimize energy costs without worrying 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 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 stirring up costly problems by the time you get back. This is particularly true in case the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re gone.
For example, turning the HVAC system off in the summer could cause very high humidity. Not only will your home feel like a swamp when you return, but it might have also stimulated mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And in the winter, leaving the furnace off could lead to pipes freezing or even bursting. It’s exhausting to return home from a vacation only to come across extensive water damage nearby a broken pipe.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can adjust the temperature even when you're just going to work. Because you’re out of the house for about 8 hours or longer, it doesn’t help your monthly energy bill to keep an empty home at the same temperature you’d usually have. As a general rule, it’s recommended to raise the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. This means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, try raising it to 76-77 while you’re at work.
But you may save even more if you try further adjustments to the temperature. As reported by the Department of Energy, you may save about 10% on your HVAC expenses by increasing the adjustment to 7-10 degrees.
Best Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Summer
If you're on an extended trip in the heart of summer, you can make more significant adjustments. This prevents wasting energy while still safeguarding your home from the problems that come with leaving it un-air conditioned. About 5 degrees is appropriate for brief trips while around 10 degrees is ideal if you’ll be gone for 2 weeks or more. If you enjoy keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 will offer great results.
Recommended Thermostat Settings While On a Trip in Winter
To try and find the most energy-efficient thermostat setting for a winter vacation, simply lower it by the same amount you would raise it in summer. 68 is a popular winter thermostat setting, so adjusting to 63-58 will keep your plumbing safe while minimizing how long your furnace operates.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Benefits of a Smart Thermostat
An ideal strategy to optimize your home’s HVAC system while away is using a smart thermostat. This special type of programmable thermostat employs intelligent software to understand your usual comfort habits. It gradually understands these preferences and makes automatic changes to the schedule for maximum energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi connectivity, you can remotely control your HVAC system using a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are stuffed with features to help you save even more. To provide an example, certain models can monitor electricity prices to increase heating or cooling when prices are more affordable. They are compatible with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to fine-tune how long your HVAC system has to run. It’s the ideal tool to simplify how you use your comfort system. If you’re planning on investing in a smart thermostat, there are different ways you can reduce your costs, effectively 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.