From a much-needed vacation or a lengthy trip for work, taking a trip means making preparations for your HVAC system. You don't need it if you’re on a trip, so you can adjust it as necessary to conserve your energy use. Just the same, you don’t want to just shut it down for the entire time you're out of the house.
For the most part, it’s ideal to leave your HVAC system on and just raise or lower depending on whether it's winter or summer. That way you can reduce energy costs without stressing about coming back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll explain why you shouldn’t turn your HVAC system off as well as the most energy-efficient thermostat settings for various times of year.
Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you could be inclined to turn your HVAC system off before a trip, this will sometimes end up stirring up annoying problems by the time you come back. This is particularly true if the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re gone.
For example, turning the HVAC system down in the summer could lead to very high humidity. Not only will your home feel like a swamp when you have returned, but it could have also stimulated mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And during the winter, not using the furnace could lead to pipes freezing up or even bursting. It’s an awful feeling to come home from a long trip only to find extensive water damage nearby a broken pipe.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can make temperature adjustments even when you're just going to work. Since you’re not home for around 8 hours or so, it doesn’t seem sensible to keep an empty home the same temperature as when you're home. Generally, it’s suggested to adjust the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. This means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, think about increasing it to 76-77 while you’re out.
But you may save even more if you're open to further adjusting the temperature. As reported by the Department of Energy, you may save around 10% on your HVAC expenses by raising the temperature by about 7-10 degrees.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Summer
If you're on an extended trip in the heart of summer, you can make larger adjustments. This helps you avoid using too much energy while still safeguarding your home from the hassles that come with leaving it uncooled. Something like 5 degrees is recommended for short trips while closer to 10 degrees is best 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 can offer great results.
Best Thermostat Settings While On a Trip in Winter
To determine the best thermostat setting for a winter getaway, consider lowering the temperature by the same amount you would adjust it in summer. 68 is a frequent winter thermostat setting, so adjusting to 63-58 will keep your plumbing safe while limiting how often your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Benefits of a Smart Thermostat
One of the best ways 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 uses intelligent software to track your usual 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 access your heating and cooling from a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are packed with features to help you save even more. For example, certain models can observe electricity prices to increase heating or cooling when prices are lowest. They are compatible with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to fine-tune how long your HVAC system needs to run. It’s the perfect tool to simplify how you control your comfort system. If you’re considering investing in a smart thermostat, there are multiple ways you can bring down your costs, essentially getting a smart thermostat for free. The next time you are away from home, you can receive true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t cause any trouble while you’re away.