From a relaxing vacation or a lengthy trip for work, taking a trip means making plans for your heating and cooling system. You can't use it as long as you’re not home, so you can adjust it as necessary to limit your energy use. Simultaneously, you shouldn't just turn it off for the entire time you're gone.
Instead, it’s better to leave your HVAC system going and just make adjustments depending on the time of year. That way you can reduce energy costs without stressing about coming back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll review why you should leave your HVAC system on as well as the ideal thermostat settings for various times of year.
Here’s Why You Avoid Leaving Your Thermostat on Hold
While you might be tempted to shut your HVAC system down before a trip, this will sometimes end up leading to annoying problems by the time you get back. This is notably true if 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 lead to very high humidity. Not only will your home feel muggy and uncomfortable when you have returned, but it may have also encouraged mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And in the winter, letting your house get cold will sometimes lead to pipes freezing up or even bursting. It’s an awful feeling to come home from a nice trip only to find substantial water damage nearby a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can make temperature adjustments even as you come and go to work. Considering you’re out of the house for 8 hours or more, it doesn’t make sense to keep an empty home at the same temperature you’d usually have. Generally, it’s recommended to raise the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. That means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, try adjusting it to 76-77 while you’re out.
But you may save even more if you're open to further adjusting the temperature. According to the Department of Energy, you could save nearly 10% on your HVAC costs by increasing the adjustment to 7-10 degrees.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Summer
If you leave for an extended trip in the middle of summer, you can make more significant adjustments. This prevents wasting energy while still defending your home from the issues that come with leaving it without air conditioning. Something like 5 degrees is suitable for brief trips while a larger adjustment of 10 degrees is best if you’ll be gone for 2 weeks or more. If you like keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 should offer the best results.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While On a Trip 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 often your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Advantages of a Smart Thermostat
One of the best ways to regulate your home’s HVAC system while away is by investing in a smart thermostat. This innovative type of programmable thermostat utilizes intelligent software to understand your typical comfort habits. It applies these preferences and makes automatic changes to the schedule for better energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi compatibility, you can remotely adjust your HVAC system from a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are stuffed with features to help you save energy and lower costs. To provide an example, some models can track electricity prices to boost heating or cooling when prices are more affordable. They are compatible with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to refine how long your HVAC system needs to run. It’s the optimal 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 lower your costs, in essence 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 from home.