Whether it’s a tropical vacation or a long trip for work, taking a trip means making plans for your heating and cooling system. You don't need it as long as you’re not home, so you can make adjustments as appropriate to conserve your energy use. Just the same, you shouldn't just turn it off for the entire time you're out of the house.
In general, it’s better to leave your HVAC system on and just raise or lower depending on the season. That way you can lower energy costs without having to worry about coming back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll review why you shouldn’t turn your HVAC system off as well as the ideal thermostat settings for different times of year.
Here’s Why You Avoid Leaving Your Thermostat on Hold
While you might be wanting to leave your HVAC system off before a trip, this can end up stirring up big problems by the time you return. This is notably true when the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re away from home.
As an example, switching the HVAC system down in the summer can cause very high humidity. Not only will your home feel like a swamp when you return, but it may have also invited mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And during the winter, not using the furnace can lead to pipes freezing up or even bursting. It’s an awful feeling to get home from a nice trip only to come across substantial water damage nearby a broken pipe.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can make temperature adjustments even when you're just going to work. Because you’re out of the house for about 8 hours or longer, it doesn’t make sense to keep an empty home heated or cooled as if you were there. In general, it’s encouraged to adjust the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. This means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, try adjusting it to 76-77 while you’re at work.
But you could save even more if you try further adjustments to the temperature. As reported by the Department of Energy, you could save about 10% on your HVAC expenses by increasing the adjustment to 7-10 degrees.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Summer
If you're on a longer trip in the heart of summer, you can make bigger adjustments. This ensures you don’t waste energy while still protecting your home from the problems that come with leaving it without air conditioning. About 5 degrees is recommended for short trips while closer to 10 degrees is ideal if you’ll be away from home for 2 weeks or more. If you prefer keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 will offer beneficial results.
Recommended Thermostat Settings While On a Trip in Winter
To try and find the ideal thermostat setting for a winter vacation, just lower the temperature by the same amount you would adjust 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: Perks of a Smart Thermostat
An ideal strategy to regulate your home’s HVAC system while out of the house is using a smart thermostat. This special type of programmable thermostat employs 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 adjust your HVAC system from a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are loaded with features to help you save on your energy bill. For instance, some models can monitor electricity prices to boost heating or cooling when prices are lowest. 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 control your comfort system. If you’re considering investing in a smart thermostat, there are different ways you can bring down 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 away from home.