Between a much-needed vacation or a long trip for work, taking a trip means making plans for your home comfort system. You won’t be using it if you’re not home, so you can adjust the temperature as appropriate to conserve your energy use. At the same time, you don’t want to just turn it off for the entire duration of your trip.
For the most part, it’s best to leave your HVAC system on and adjust the temperature 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 explain why you shouldn’t turn your HVAC system off as well as the ideal thermostat settings for summer and winter.
Here’s Why You Avoid Leaving Your Thermostat on Hold
While you might be inclined to leave your HVAC system off before a trip, this will sometimes end up leading to annoying problems by the time you get back. This is particularly true when the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re out of town.
For example, turning the HVAC system down in the summer will sometimes produce very high humidity. Not only will your home feel gross 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 exhausting to come home from a long trip only to discover extensive water damage nearby a broken pipe.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can adjust the temperature even when you're just going to work. Considering you’re out of the house for 8 hours or more, it doesn’t help your monthly energy bill to keep an empty home at the same temperature you’d usually have. Generally, it’s encouraged to raise the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. That means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, try raising it to 76-77 while you’re out.
But you can save even more if you’re willing to further adjust the temperature. As reported by the Department of Energy, you could save nearly 10% on your HVAC spending by raising the temperature by about 7-10 degrees.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Summer
If you're on a longer trip in the middle of summer, you can make larger adjustments. This helps you avoid using too much energy while still safeguarding your home from the problems that come with leaving it without air conditioning. About 5 degrees is recommended for shorter trips while a larger adjustment of 10 degrees is best if you’ll be away from home for 2 weeks or more. If you enjoy keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 can offer great results.
Best Thermostat Settings While On a Trip in Winter
To try and find the best thermostat setting for a winter getaway, consider lowering the temperature by the same amount you would increase it in summer. 68 is a popular winter thermostat setting, so turning it down to 63-58 will prevent ice from forming on pipes while minimizing how long 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 with a smart thermostat. This innovative type of programmable thermostat employs intelligent software to understand your preferred comfort habits. It learns these preferences and makes automatic corrections to the schedule for maximum energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi integration, you can remotely adjust your HVAC system with a smart device like a phone or tablet.
Smart thermostats are loaded with features to help you save on your energy bill. To provide an example, some models can observe electricity prices to bolster heating or cooling when prices are lowest. They are compatible with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to optimize how long your HVAC system needs to run. It’s the perfect tool to simplify how you control your comfort system. If you’re thinking about investing in a smart thermostat, there are multiple 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 stir up any trouble while you’re gone.