Between a tropical vacation or a lengthy trip for work, traveling means making preparations for your HVAC system. You can't use it as long as you’re not home, so you can adjust the temperature as necessary to limit your energy use. Simultaneously, you shouldn't just leave it off for the entire time you're gone.
For the most part, it’s best to leave your HVAC system running and just raise or lower depending on the season. That way you can minimize energy costs without having to worry about coming back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll review why you should leave your HVAC system on as well as the most energy-efficient thermostat settings for various times of year.
Here’s Why You Avoid Leaving Your Thermostat on Hold
While you may be wanting to leave your HVAC system off before a trip, this can end up causing big problems by the time you come back. This is particularly true in case the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re out of town.
For example, shutting the HVAC system down during the summer will sometimes lead to very high humidity. Not only will your home feel muggy and uncomfortable when you come back, but it might have also stimulated mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And over the winter, not using the furnace might lead to pipes freezing or even bursting. It’s exhausting to come home from a vacation only to come across considerable water damage close to a broken pipe.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can optimize the temperature even if you’re coming and going to work. Considering you’re not home for 8 hours or more, it doesn’t make sense to keep an empty home at the same temperature you’d usually have. Generally, it’s suggested to adjust the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. Meaning that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, try adjusting it to 76-77 while you’re gone.
But you could save even more if you’re willing to further adjust the temperature. According to the Department of Energy, you might save nearly 10% on your HVAC expenses by making an adjustment of 7-10 degrees.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Summer
If you’re leaving for a lengthier trip in the heart of summer, you can make more significant adjustments. This prevents wasting energy while still defending your home from the hassles that come with leaving it without air conditioning. Something like 5 degrees is suitable for brief trips while a larger adjustment of 10 degrees is ideal if you’ll be away from home for 2 weeks or longer. If you like keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 should offer beneficial results.
Best Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Winter
To try and find the best thermostat setting for a winter getaway, just lower the temperature by the same amount you would raise it in summer. 68 is a frequent winter thermostat setting, so lowering it to 63-58 will protect your plumbing while restricting how long your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Benefits of a Smart Thermostat
A great way to manage your home’s HVAC system while out of the house is with a smart thermostat. This special type of programmable thermostat utilizes intelligent software to understand your preferred comfort habits. It learns these preferences and makes automatic adjustments to the schedule for maximum energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi compatibility, 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 monitor electricity prices to increase heating or cooling when prices are lower. They can also work with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to refine how long your HVAC system should run. It’s the perfect tool to streamline how you control your comfort system. If you’re considering investing in a smart thermostat, there are multiple ways you can lower your costs, effectively 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 stir up any trouble while you’re away.