Between a tropical vacation or a lengthy trip for work, leaving home means making plans for your home comfort system. You don't need it while you’re not home, so you can adjust the temperature as needed to conserve your energy use. Just the same, you shouldn't just shut it down for the entire time you're gone.
Instead, it’s better to leave your HVAC system running and adjust the temperature depending on the season. That way you can lower energy costs without having to worry about coming back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll explain why you shouldn’t turn your HVAC system off as well as the best thermostat settings for different times of year.
Here’s Why You Avoid Leaving Your Thermostat on Hold
While you may be inclined to turn your HVAC system off before a trip, this could end up causing big problems by the time you get back. This is especially true when the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re away from home.
As an example, turning the HVAC system off in the summer can produce very high humidity. Not only will your home feel gross when you come back, but it may have also encouraged mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And over the winter, letting your house get cold will sometimes lead to pipes icing over or even bursting. It’s an awful feeling to return home from a long trip only to come across considerable water damage close to a broken pipe.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can adjust the temperature even when you're just going to work. Because you’re not home for around 8 hours or so, it doesn’t seem sensible to keep an empty home heated or cooled as if you were there. As a general rule, it’s suggested to adjust the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. That 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’re willing to further adjust the temperature. According to the Department of Energy, you may save around 10% on your HVAC spending by increasing the adjustment to 7-10 degrees.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While on a Trip in Summer
If you leave for a longer trip in the heart of summer, you can make larger adjustments. This prevents wasting energy while still safeguarding your home from the issues that come with leaving it un-air conditioned. Something like 5 degrees is appropriate for shorter trips while closer to 10 degrees is ideal 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 great results.
Best Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Winter
To determine the ideal 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 lowering it to 63-58 will prevent ice from forming on pipes while limiting how long your furnace runs.
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 by investing in a smart thermostat. This innovative type of programmable thermostat employs intelligent software to understand your typical comfort habits. It applies these preferences and makes automatic changes to the schedule for higher energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi compatibility, you can remotely adjust your HVAC system from a smartphone or tablet.
Smart thermostats are stuffed with features to help you save even more. For instance, specific models can monitor electricity prices to bolster heating or cooling when prices are lower. They can be used with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to optimize how long your HVAC system needs to run. It’s the perfect tool to enhance how you control your comfort system. If you’re planning on investing in a smart thermostat, there are different ways you can lower your costs, essentially 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 gone.