Whether it’s a much-needed vacation or an extended trip for work, leaving home means making plans for your heating and cooling system. You can't use it if you’re not home, so you can make adjustments as appropriate to conserve your energy use. Simultaneously, you shouldn't just shut it down for the entire time you're gone.
For the most part, it’s best to leave your HVAC system going and adjust the temperature depending on whether it's winter or summer. That way you can lower energy costs without stressing about coming back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll walk you through why you should leave your HVAC system on as well as the best thermostat settings for various times of year.
Here’s Why You Avoid Leaving Your Thermostat on Hold
While you might be wanting to shut your HVAC system down before a trip, this will sometimes end up stirring up big problems by the time you return. This is particularly true in case the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re out of town.
As an example, shutting the HVAC system off during the summer can produce very high humidity. Not only will your home feel muggy and uncomfortable when you have returned, but it could have also invited mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And in the winter, letting your house get cold can lead to pipes freezing or even bursting. It’s exhausting to return home from a vacation only to discover extensive water damage nearby a broken pipe.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can adjust the temperature even as you come and go to work. Since you’re out of the house for around 8 hours or so, it doesn’t seem sensible to keep an empty home heated or cooled as if you were there. In general, it’s encouraged to raise the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. This means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, think about increasing it to 76-77 while you’re at work.
But you may save even more if you're open to further adjusting the temperature. According to the Department of Energy, you may save nearly 10% on your HVAC costs by making an adjustment of 7-10 degrees.
Best Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Summer
If you leave for a longer trip in the heart of summer, you can make bigger adjustments. This helps you avoid using too much energy while still protecting your home from the hassles that come with leaving it without air conditioning. About 5 degrees is suitable for brief trips while closer to 10 degrees is ideal if you’ll be out of town for 2 weeks or more. If you prefer keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 should offer beneficial results.
Best Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Winter
To try and find the ideal thermostat setting for a winter trip, simply lower it by the same amount you would increase it in summer. 68 is a popular winter thermostat setting, so adjusting to 63-58 will protect your plumbing while limiting how long your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Perks of a Smart Thermostat
A great way to regulate your home’s HVAC system while away from home is by investing in a smart thermostat. This advanced type of programmable thermostat employs intelligent software to track your usual comfort habits. It applies these preferences and makes automatic adjustments to the schedule for higher energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi integration, you can remotely adjust your HVAC system with a smart device like a phone or tablet.
Smart thermostats are stuffed with features to help you save on your energy bill. To provide an example, certain models can observe electricity prices to boost heating or cooling when prices are more affordable. They can be used with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to refine how long your HVAC system has to run. It’s the perfect tool to simplify how you use your comfort system. If you’re considering investing in a smart thermostat, there are different ways you can bring down your costs, in essence 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.