Between a relaxing 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 on a trip, so you can adjust it as necessary to limit your energy use. Simultaneously, you shouldn't just shut it down for the entire time you're out of the house.
Instead, it’s better to leave your HVAC system going and adjust the temperature depending on the time of year. That way you can reduce energy costs without having to worry about returning to an uncomfortable home. We’ll walk you through why you should leave your HVAC system on as well as the most energy-efficient thermostat settings for various times of year.
Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you might be wanting to shut your HVAC system down before a trip, this can end up causing costly problems by the time you come back. This is notably true if the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re out of town.
For instance, turning the HVAC system down during the summer could lead to very high humidity. Not only will your home feel muggy and uncomfortable when you have returned, but it might have also stimulated mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And in the winter, not using the furnace could lead to pipes icing over or even bursting. It’s exhausting to get home from a long trip only to find substantial water damage near a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can adjust the temperature even if you’re coming and going to work. Because you’re not home for around 8 hours or so, it doesn’t make sense to keep an empty home at the same temperature you’d usually have. In general, it’s recommended to adjust the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. That means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, consider increasing it to 76-77 while you’re out.
But you may save even more if you try further adjustments to the temperature. As stated by the Department of Energy, you could save about 10% on your HVAC costs by increasing the adjustment to 7-10 degrees.
Best Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Summer
If you're on an extended trip in the hottest part of summer, you can make larger adjustments. This prevents wasting energy while still protecting your home from the issues that come with leaving it without air conditioning. About 5 degrees is appropriate for brief trips while closer to 10 degrees is ideal if you’ll be away from home for 2 weeks or longer. If you like keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 will offer great results.
Recommended Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Winter
To figure out the ideal thermostat setting for a winter trip, just lower the temperature by the same amount you would raise it in summer. 68 is a common winter thermostat setting, so lowering it to 63-58 will prevent ice from forming on pipes while minimizing how long your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Advantages of a Smart Thermostat
An ideal strategy to regulate your home’s HVAC system while away is using a smart thermostat. This advanced type of programmable thermostat utilizes intelligent software to monitor your typical comfort habits. It applies these preferences and makes automatic corrections to the schedule for higher energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi connectivity, you can remotely access your HVAC system with a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are loaded with features to help you save even more. For instance, some models can observe electricity prices to increase 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 perfect tool to streamline how you control your comfort system. If you’re thinking about 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 enjoy true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t stir up any trouble while you’re gone.