Whether it’s a relaxing vacation or an extended trip for work, taking a trip means making plans for your home comfort system. You don't need it as long as you’re on a trip, so you can make adjustments as appropriate to conserve your energy use. Just the same, you shouldn't just turn it off for the entire duration of your trip.
For the most part, it’s ideal to leave your HVAC system on and just raise or lower depending on the season. That way you can reduce energy costs without having to worry about getting back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll walk you through why you should leave your HVAC system on as well as the most energy-efficient thermostat settings for summer and winter.
Here’s Why You Avoid Leaving Your Thermostat on Hold
While you could be inclined to turn your HVAC system off before a trip, this will sometimes end up causing costly problems by the time you get back. This is particularly true in case the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re gone.
For instance, turning the HVAC system down in the summer will sometimes produce 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 in the winter, leaving the furnace off will sometimes lead to pipes freezing or even bursting. It’s never fun to get home from a long trip only to find substantial 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 about 8 hours or longer, it doesn’t seem sensible to keep an empty home at the same temperature you’d usually have. Generally, it’s encouraged to adjust the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. Meaning that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, try increasing it to 76-77 while you’re gone.
But you can save even more if you’re willing to further adjust the temperature. According to the Department of Energy, you could save about 10% on your HVAC spending by making an adjustment of 7-10 degrees.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Summer
If you're on a longer trip in the middle 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 uncooled. Something like 5 degrees is recommended for brief trips while a larger adjustment of 10 degrees is ideal if you’ll be gone for 2 weeks or longer. If you like keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 will offer the best results.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Winter
To determine the most energy-efficient thermostat setting for a winter trip, simply lower it by the same amount you would increase it in summer. 68 is a common winter thermostat setting, so turning it down to 63-58 will prevent ice from forming on pipes while minimizing how often your furnace operates.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Advantages of a Smart Thermostat
One of the best ways to manage your home’s HVAC system while away is by investing in a smart thermostat. This special type of programmable thermostat utilizes intelligent software to understand your usual comfort habits. It learns these preferences and makes automatic adjustments to the schedule for maximum energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi integration, you can remotely access your heating and cooling using a smartphone or tablet.
Smart thermostats are stuffed with features to help you save even more. To provide an example, specific models can monitor electricity prices to bolster heating or cooling when prices are lowest. They can also work with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to fine-tune how long your HVAC system needs to run. It’s the ideal tool to streamline how you control your comfort system. If you’re planning on investing in a smart thermostat, there are a variety of ways you can bring down 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 cause any trouble while you’re away from home.