Whether it’s a tropical vacation or a long trip for work, taking a trip means making plans for your home comfort system. You don't need it as long as you’re not home, so you can adjust the temperature as necessary to conserve your energy use. At the same time, you don’t want to just turn it off for the entire duration of your trip.
In general, it’s better to leave your HVAC system going and just make adjustments depending on the time of year. That way you can reduce energy costs without stressing about coming back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll explain 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 could be inclined to shut your HVAC system down before a trip, this will sometimes end up causing annoying problems by the time you return. This is particularly true when the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re out of town.
For instance, switching the HVAC system off during the summer can lead to very high humidity. Not only will your home feel muggy and uncomfortable when you come back, but it might have also invited mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And in the winter, leaving the furnace off might lead to pipes icing over or even bursting. It’s exhausting to come home from a long trip only to come across considerable water damage near a broken pipe.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can optimize the temperature even if you’re coming and going to work. Since you’re away for about 8 hours or longer, it doesn’t seem sensible to keep an empty home heated or cooled as if you were there. Generally, it’s recommended to turn up the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. This means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, consider raising it to 76-77 while you’re at work.
But you can save even more if you’re willing to further adjust the temperature. As reported by the Department of Energy, you may save around 10% on your HVAC costs by raising the temperature by about 7-10 degrees.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Summer
If you're on a longer trip in the middle of summer, you can make larger adjustments. This prevents wasting energy while still safeguarding your home from the hassles that come with leaving it un-air conditioned. Around 5 degrees is recommended for short trips while around 10 degrees is best if you’ll be gone for 2 weeks or more. If you prefer keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 can offer great results.
Recommended 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 frequent winter thermostat setting, so lowering it to 63-58 will prevent ice from forming on pipes while minimizing 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 by investing in a smart thermostat. This innovative type of programmable thermostat uses intelligent software to understand your usual 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 using a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are stuffed with features to help you save even more. For example, specific 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 optimize how long your HVAC system should run. It’s the ideal tool to enhance 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, effectively getting a smart thermostat for free. The next time you leave for vacation, you can enjoy true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t cause any trouble while you’re away from home.