Between a much-needed vacation or an extended trip for work, taking a trip means making plans for your heating and cooling system. You won’t be using it if you’re not home, so you can adjust it as appropriate to limit your energy use. Just the same, you shouldn't just shut it down for the entire time you're gone.
Instead, it’s ideal to leave your HVAC system on and just raise or lower depending on whether it's winter or summer. That way you can lower 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 ideal thermostat settings for different times of year.
Here’s Why You Avoid Leaving Your Thermostat on Hold
While you might be tempted to leave your HVAC system off before a trip, this could end up causing costly problems by the time you return. This is especially true when the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re out of town.
For instance, shutting the HVAC system off during the summer could produce very high humidity. Not only will your home feel muggy and uncomfortable when you come back, but it could have also encouraged mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And during the winter, letting your house get cold could lead to pipes freezing up or even bursting. It’s never fun to return home from a vacation only to discover extensive water damage nearby a broken pipe.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can optimize the temperature even when you're just going to work. Because you’re away for around 8 hours or so, it doesn’t help your monthly energy bill to keep an empty home heated or cooled as if you were there. Generally, it’s suggested to turn up the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. This means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, try increasing it to 76-77 while you’re gone.
But you may save even more if you're open to further adjusting the temperature. According to the Department of Energy, you may save about 10% on your HVAC spending by increasing the adjustment to 7-10 degrees.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Summer
If you’re leaving for a longer trip in the hottest part of summer, you can make more significant adjustments. This prevents wasting energy while still protecting your home from the problems that come with leaving it uncooled. Around 5 degrees is recommended for short trips while closer to 10 degrees is worthwhile if you’ll be away from home for 2 weeks or more. If you like keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 can offer great results.
Best Thermostat Settings While On a Trip in Winter
To determine the best thermostat setting for a winter vacation, consider lowering the temperature by the same amount you would adjust it in summer. 68 is a frequent winter thermostat setting, so adjusting to 63-58 will protect your plumbing while minimizing how often your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Advantages of a Smart Thermostat
A great way to manage your home’s HVAC system while away from home is by investing in a smart thermostat. This innovative type of programmable thermostat utilizes intelligent software to understand your preferred comfort habits. It applies these preferences and makes automatic adjustments to the schedule for better energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi integration, you can remotely adjust your heating and cooling from a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are stuffed with features to help you save energy and lower costs. For instance, specific models can track electricity prices to increase heating or cooling when prices are lower. They can also work with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to fine-tune how long your HVAC system needs to run. It’s the optimal tool to enhance how you use your comfort system. If you’re considering investing in a smart thermostat, there are a variety of ways you can reduce your costs, effectively getting a smart thermostat for free. The next time you leave for vacation, you can enjoy true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t cause any trouble while you’re away from home.