From a tropical vacation or a lengthy trip for work, taking a trip means making preparations for your heating and cooling system. You don't need it if you’re on a trip, so you can adjust it as necessary to minimize your energy use. At the same time, you shouldn't just leave it off for the entire duration of your trip.
For the most part, it’s better to leave your HVAC system running and adjust the temperature depending on the season. That way you can reduce energy costs without stressing about getting back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll review why you should avoid turning your HVAC system off as well as the most energy-efficient thermostat settings for summer and winter.
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 causing annoying problems by the time you return. This is especially true in case the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re out of town.
For example, turning the HVAC system down in the summer can cause very high humidity. Not only will your home feel like a swamp when you come back, but it may have also encouraged mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And during the winter, letting your house get cold can lead to pipes icing over or even bursting. It’s exhausting to come home from a vacation only to come across considerable 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. Since you’re not home for about 8 hours or longer, it doesn’t help your monthly energy bill to keep an empty home heated or cooled as if you were there. In general, it’s suggested to raise the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. This means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, think about increasing it to 76-77 while you’re out.
But you could save even more if you're open to further adjusting the temperature. As reported by the Department of Energy, you could save about 10% on your HVAC costs by raising the temperature by about 7-10 degrees.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While on a Trip in Summer
If you're on an extended trip in the heart of summer, you can make bigger adjustments. This prevents wasting energy while still defending your home from the issues that come with leaving it un-air conditioned. Around 5 degrees is recommended for shorter trips while around 10 degrees is worthwhile if you’ll be out of town for 2 weeks or longer. If you prefer keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 should offer great results.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Winter
To determine the ideal thermostat setting for a winter trip, consider lowering the temperature by the same amount you would raise it in summer. 68 is a common winter thermostat setting, so adjusting to 63-58 will prevent ice from forming on pipes while restricting how frequently your furnace operates.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Benefits of a Smart Thermostat
A great way to manage your home’s HVAC system while away is by investing in a smart thermostat. This special type of programmable thermostat utilizes intelligent software to monitor your typical comfort habits. It learns these preferences and makes automatic corrections to the schedule for higher energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi compatibility, you can remotely control your heating and cooling using a smart device like a phone or tablet.
Smart thermostats are packed with features to help you save on your energy bill. For instance, certain models can monitor electricity prices to boost heating or cooling when prices are lower. They are compatible with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to refine how long your HVAC system has to run. It’s the optimal 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 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.