Between a much-needed vacation or a long trip for work, taking a trip means making plans for your home comfort system. You don't need it while you’re not home, so you can adjust the temperature as necessary to limit your energy use. Simultaneously, you shouldn't just leave it off for the entire duration of your trip.
Instead, it’s best to leave your HVAC system going and just raise or lower depending on the time of year. That way you can lower energy costs without worrying about returning to an uncomfortable home. We’ll review why you should leave your HVAC system on as well as the best thermostat settings for summer and winter.
Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you could be tempted to turn your HVAC system off before a trip, this will sometimes end up stirring up annoying problems by the time you return. This is particularly true if the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re out of town.
As an example, switching the HVAC system down in the summer could lead to very high humidity. Not only will your home feel gross when you come back, but it could have also stimulated mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And during the winter, leaving the furnace off will sometimes lead to pipes freezing up or even bursting. It’s never fun to come home from a long trip only to find considerable water damage nearby a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can make temperature adjustments even if you’re coming and going to work. Since you’re not home for about 8 hours or longer, 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 raise the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. That means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, try increasing it to 76-77 while you’re out.
But you may save even more if you’re willing to further adjust the temperature. According to the Department of Energy, you could save around 10% on your HVAC spending by increasing the adjustment to 7-10 degrees.
Best Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Summer
If you’re leaving for a lengthier trip in the hottest part of summer, you can make bigger adjustments. This ensures you don’t waste energy while still protecting your home from the hassles that come with leaving it without air conditioning. Something like 5 degrees is recommended for short trips while around 10 degrees is worthwhile if you’ll be gone for 2 weeks or more. If you enjoy keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 can offer the best results.
Recommended Thermostat Settings While On a Trip in Winter
To try and find the ideal thermostat setting for a winter trip, simply lower it by the same amount you would raise it in summer. 68 is a common winter thermostat setting, so adjusting to 63-58 will prevent ice from forming on pipes while restricting how often your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Advantages of a Smart Thermostat
An ideal strategy to optimize your home’s HVAC system while away is using a smart thermostat. This advanced type of programmable thermostat employs intelligent software to understand your preferred comfort habits. It gradually understands these preferences and makes automatic changes to the schedule for higher energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi connectivity, you can remotely access your heating and cooling using a smartphone or tablet.
Smart thermostats are stuffed with features to help you save energy and lower costs. For example, certain models can monitor electricity prices to increase heating or cooling when prices are lower. They can be used with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to fine-tune how long your HVAC system should run. It’s the optimal tool to enhance 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, essentially getting a smart thermostat for free. The next time you are away from home, you can receive true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t cause any trouble while you’re gone.