From a relaxing vacation or a lengthy trip for work, traveling means making preparations for your home comfort system. You don't need it as long as you’re on a trip, so you can adjust the temperature as needed to conserve your energy use. Simultaneously, you shouldn't just turn it off for the entire time you're out of the house.
In general, it’s ideal to leave your HVAC system on and just raise or lower 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 ideal thermostat settings for different times of year.
This Is Why You Avoid Leaving Your Thermostat on Hold
While you may be wanting to turn your HVAC system off before a trip, this could end up stirring up costly problems by the time you get back. This is especially true if the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re out of town.
For instance, shutting the HVAC system down during the summer could cause 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 in the winter, not using the furnace might lead to pipes freezing or even bursting. It’s an awful feeling to come home from a nice trip only to find considerable water damage near a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can make temperature adjustments even if you’re coming and going to work. Considering you’re not home for about 8 hours or longer, it doesn’t help your monthly energy bill to keep an empty home the same temperature as when you're home. Generally, it’s recommended to turn up the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. Meaning that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, consider increasing it to 76-77 while you’re at work.
But you may save even more if you try further adjustments to the temperature. According to the Department of Energy, you could save about 10% on your HVAC costs by increasing the adjustment to 7-10 degrees.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While on a Trip in Summer
If you’re leaving for a longer trip in the middle of summer, you can make larger adjustments. This ensures you don’t waste energy while still defending your home from the hassles that come with leaving it uncooled. Around 5 degrees is recommended for shorter trips while a larger adjustment of 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 will offer beneficial results.
Recommended Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Winter
To determine the best 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 turning it down to 63-58 will keep your plumbing safe while restricting how long your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Advantages of Smart Thermostat Installation
One of the best ways to optimize 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 gradually understands these preferences and makes automatic corrections to the schedule for better energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi integration, you can remotely adjust your HVAC system using a smartphone or tablet.
Smart thermostats are loaded with features to help you save on your energy bill. To provide an example, some models can monitor electricity prices to increase heating or cooling when prices are lowest. They can be used with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to fine-tune how long your HVAC system has to run. It’s the perfect tool to enhance how you use your comfort system. If you’re planning on investing in a smart thermostat, there are multiple ways you can reduce your costs, in essence 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 cause any trouble while you’re away.