Between a much-needed vacation or a lengthy trip for work, leaving home means making plans for your heating and cooling system. You don't need it while you’re on a trip, so you can make adjustments as needed to conserve your energy use. Just the same, you shouldn't just shut it down for the entire duration of your trip.
In general, it’s ideal to leave your HVAC system on and just raise or lower depending on the season. That way you can reduce energy costs without having to worry about getting back 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 different times of year.
Here’s Why You Avoid Leaving Your Thermostat on Hold
While you may be tempted to leave your HVAC system off before a trip, this could end up leading to big problems by the time you come back. This is notably true in case the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re out of town.
For instance, shutting the HVAC system off in the summer will sometimes produce very high humidity. Not only will your home feel gross when you have returned, but it may have also encouraged mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And during the winter, not using the furnace might lead to pipes freezing or even bursting. It’s never fun to come home from a long trip only to find extensive water damage near a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can optimize the temperature even as you come and go to work. Considering you’re away for about 8 hours or longer, it doesn’t seem sensible to keep an empty home heated or cooled as if you were there. As a general rule, it’s encouraged to raise the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. Meaning that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, consider increasing it to 76-77 while you’re out.
But you can save even more if you try further adjustments to the temperature. As stated by the Department of Energy, you might save about 10% on your HVAC costs by making an adjustment of 7-10 degrees.
Best Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Summer
If you leave for an extended trip in the middle of summer, you can make more significant adjustments. This helps you avoid using too much energy while still protecting your home from the hassles that come with leaving it uncooled. Around 5 degrees is appropriate for brief trips while a larger adjustment of 10 degrees is best 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 will offer the best results.
Ideal 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 common winter thermostat setting, so lowering it to 63-58 will prevent ice from forming on pipes while limiting how frequently your furnace operates.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Benefits of a Smart Thermostat
One of the best ways to optimize your home’s HVAC system while away is using a smart thermostat. This advanced type of programmable thermostat uses intelligent software to understand your usual comfort habits. It gradually understands 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 with a smartphone or tablet.
Smart thermostats are loaded with features to help you save energy and lower costs. For instance, certain models can monitor electricity prices to bolster heating or cooling when prices are lowest. 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 control your comfort system. If you’re planning on 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 receive true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t cause any trouble while you’re away from home.