Whether it’s a tropical vacation or a long trip for work, traveling means making plans for your home comfort system. You don't need it while you’re away, so you can adjust the temperature as necessary to minimize your energy use. Simultaneously, you don’t want to just leave it off for the entire time you're out of the house.
In general, it’s ideal to leave your HVAC system going and just make adjustments depending on the season. That way you can lower 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 summer and winter.
Here’s Why You Don't Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you could be tempted to leave your HVAC system off before a trip, this could end up stirring up big problems by the time you get back. This is particularly true when the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re out of town.
For instance, turning the HVAC system off during the summer can cause very high humidity. Not only will your home feel like a swamp when you return, but it may have also stimulated mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And during the winter, not using the furnace will sometimes lead to pipes icing over or even bursting. It’s an awful feeling to return home from a vacation only to discover extensive water damage close to a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can adjust the temperature even if you’re coming and going to work. Considering you’re out of the house for 8 hours or more, it doesn’t help your monthly energy bill to keep an empty home at the same temperature you’d usually have. As a general rule, it’s recommended to adjust the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. That means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, think about raising it to 76-77 while you’re at work.
But you may save even more if you try further adjustments to the temperature. According to the Department of Energy, you could save around 10% on your HVAC spending by making an adjustment of 7-10 degrees.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While on a Trip in Summer
If you're on an extended trip in the hottest part of summer, you can make more significant adjustments. This ensures you don’t waste energy while still protecting your home from the problems that come with leaving it uncooled. Around 5 degrees is appropriate for short trips while around 10 degrees is best if you’ll be away from home for 2 weeks or more. If you enjoy keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 will offer the best results.
Best Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Winter
To try and find the best thermostat setting for a winter trip, simply lower it by the same amount you would raise it in summer. 68 is a frequent winter thermostat setting, so adjusting to 63-58 will protect your plumbing while minimizing how frequently your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Perks of a Smart Thermostat
One of the best ways to optimize your home’s HVAC system while away from home is using a smart thermostat. This innovative type of programmable thermostat employs intelligent software to track your typical 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 adjust your HVAC system with a smartphone or tablet.
Smart thermostats are packed with features to help you save energy and lower costs. For instance, specific 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 optimal tool to enhance how you use your comfort system. If you’re considering investing in a smart thermostat, there are a variety of ways you can lower your costs, in essence 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 cause any trouble while you’re away from home.