From a tropical vacation or an extended 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 make adjustments as appropriate to minimize your energy use. Just the same, you don’t want to just shut it down for the entire time you're gone.
For the most part, it’s better to leave your HVAC system running and adjust the temperature depending on whether it's winter or summer. That way you can minimize energy costs without having to worry about coming back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll walk you through 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 Shouldn’t Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you might be wanting to turn your HVAC system off before a trip, this will sometimes end up leading to costly problems by the time you get back. This is notably true when the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re out of town.
As an example, shutting the HVAC system off during the summer can cause very high humidity. Not only will your home feel like a swamp when you come back, but it could have also invited mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And over the winter, letting your house get cold could lead to pipes freezing up or even bursting. It’s an awful feeling 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 if you’re coming and going to work. Considering you’re away for about 8 hours or longer, it doesn’t make sense to keep an empty home the same temperature as when you're home. In general, it’s recommended to adjust 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 gone.
But you may save even more if you’re willing to further adjust the temperature. As reported by the Department of Energy, you may save about 10% on your HVAC spending by increasing the adjustment to 7-10 degrees.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While on a Trip in Summer
If you leave for a lengthier trip in the heart 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 without air conditioning. About 5 degrees is appropriate for brief trips while around 10 degrees is ideal if you’ll be out of town for 2 weeks or longer. If you enjoy keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 should offer the best results.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While On a Trip in Winter
To determine the best thermostat setting for a winter trip, 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 keep your plumbing safe while limiting how frequently your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Perks of a Smart Thermostat
An ideal strategy to manage your home’s HVAC system while out of the house is using a smart thermostat. This advanced type of programmable thermostat employs intelligent software to track your preferred comfort habits. It learns these preferences and makes automatic changes to the schedule for maximum energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi integration, you can remotely access your HVAC system with a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are stuffed with features to help you save energy and lower costs. For instance, certain models can track electricity prices to bolster heating or cooling when prices are lower. They are compatible with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to optimize how long your HVAC system has to run. It’s the ideal tool to simplify how you use your comfort system. If you’re thinking about investing in a smart thermostat, there are different ways you can bring down your costs, effectively getting a smart thermostat for free. The next time you are away from home, you can appreciate true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t cause any trouble while you’re away from home.