Whether it’s a relaxing vacation or an extended trip for work, traveling means making preparations for your home comfort system. You won’t be using it while you’re on a trip, so you can adjust the temperature as needed to minimize your energy use. Just the same, you shouldn't just leave it off for the entire time you're out of the house.
Instead, it’s best to leave your HVAC system running and just raise or lower depending on the time of year. That way you can reduce energy costs without stressing about coming back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll review why you should avoid turning your HVAC system off as well as the ideal thermostat settings for various times of year.
Here’s Why You Avoid Leaving Your Thermostat on Hold
While you may be tempted to turn your HVAC system off before a trip, this could end up causing costly problems by the time you get back. This is particularly true when the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re away from home.
For instance, turning the HVAC system off in the summer can cause very high humidity. Not only will your home feel gross when you have returned, but it might have also stimulated mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And during the winter, letting your house get cold might lead to pipes freezing up or even bursting. It’s never fun to come home from a nice trip only to discover substantial water damage close to a broken pipe.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can make temperature adjustments even when you're just going to work. Because you’re out of the house for around 8 hours or so, it doesn’t make sense to keep an empty home at the same temperature you’d usually have. As a general rule, it’s encouraged to turn up the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. Meaning that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, consider adjusting it to 76-77 while you’re at work.
But you may save even more if you’re willing to further adjust the temperature. As reported by the Department of Energy, you could save about 10% on your HVAC expenses by raising the temperature by about 7-10 degrees.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Summer
If you’re leaving for a longer 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 problems that come with leaving it un-air conditioned. About 5 degrees is appropriate for shorter trips while around 10 degrees is worthwhile if you’ll be gone for 2 weeks or more. If you like keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 should offer beneficial results.
Recommended Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Winter
To try and find the most energy-efficient thermostat setting for a winter trip, just lower the temperature by the same amount you would raise it in summer. 68 is a frequent winter thermostat setting, so turning it down to 63-58 will keep your plumbing safe while minimizing how often your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Advantages of a Smart Thermostat
One of the best ways to optimize your home’s HVAC system while away is by investing in a smart thermostat. This innovative type of programmable thermostat employs intelligent software to monitor your preferred comfort habits. It learns these preferences and makes automatic changes to the schedule for better energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi integration, you can remotely control your heating and cooling from a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are stuffed with features to help you save on your energy bill. For instance, specific models can monitor electricity prices to increase heating or cooling when prices are more affordable. They can also work with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to refine how long your HVAC system needs to run. It’s the ideal tool to streamline how you use your comfort system. If you’re planning on investing in a smart thermostat, there are different ways you can lower 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 stir up any trouble while you’re away from home.