Between a relaxing vacation or a lengthy trip for work, taking a trip means making plans for your HVAC system. You won’t be using it while you’re not home, so you can adjust it as appropriate to limit your energy use. At the same time, you don’t want to just shut it down for the entire duration of your trip.
For the most part, it’s better to leave your HVAC system running and just raise or lower depending on the time of year. That way you can minimize energy costs without stressing about returning to an uncomfortable home. We’ll review why you should leave your HVAC system on as well as the most energy-efficient thermostat settings for various times of year.
This Is Why You Don't Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you might be tempted to turn your HVAC system off before a trip, this can end up leading to costly problems by the time you return. This is notably true if the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re out of town.
As an example, switching the HVAC system down in the summer could produce 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, leaving the furnace off might lead to pipes freezing or even bursting. It’s an awful feeling to come home from a long trip only to come across substantial water damage close to a broken pipe.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can make temperature adjustments even as you come and go to work. Because you’re not home for 8 hours or more, it doesn’t seem sensible to keep an empty home at the same temperature you’d usually have. In general, it’s recommended to raise the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. Meaning that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, try increasing it to 76-77 while you’re out.
But you can save even more if you’re willing to further adjust the temperature. As stated by the Department of Energy, you could save around 10% on your HVAC costs by increasing the adjustment to 7-10 degrees.
Ideal 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 protecting your home from the issues that come with leaving it without air conditioning. Something like 5 degrees is suitable for short trips while around 10 degrees is ideal if you’ll be gone for 2 weeks or longer. If you prefer keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 should offer the best results.
Best Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Winter
To determine the ideal thermostat setting for a winter getaway, simply lower it by the same amount you would adjust it in summer. 68 is a frequent winter thermostat setting, so turning it down to 63-58 will keep your plumbing safe while minimizing how long your furnace runs.
Smart Thermostats Are Even Better: Benefits of Smart Thermostat Installation
An ideal strategy to optimize your home’s HVAC system while away is with a smart thermostat. This advanced type of programmable thermostat uses intelligent software to understand your usual comfort habits. It learns these preferences and makes automatic corrections to the schedule for maximum energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi integration, you can remotely access your HVAC system using a smartphone or tablet.
Smart thermostats are stuffed with features to help you save even more. For instance, specific models can observe electricity prices to boost heating or cooling when prices are more affordable. They can also work 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 thinking about investing in a smart thermostat, there are a variety of ways you can lower your costs, in essence getting a smart thermostat for free. The next time you are away from home, you can enjoy true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t stir up any trouble while you’re away from home.