From a much-needed vacation or a lengthy trip for work, taking a trip means making preparations for your HVAC system. You won’t be using it as long as you’re away, so you can make adjustments as needed to conserve your energy use. Simultaneously, you shouldn't just shut it down for the entire time you're out of the house.
Instead, it’s better to leave your HVAC system on and just make adjustments depending on the season. That way you can reduce energy costs without worrying about coming back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll walk you through why you should avoid turning your HVAC system off as well as the best thermostat settings for summer and winter.
Here’s Why You Don't Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you could be wanting to leave your HVAC system off before a trip, this could end up causing annoying problems by the time you return. This is particularly true in case the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re away from home.
As an example, switching the HVAC system off during the summer can cause very high humidity. Not only will your home feel muggy and uncomfortable when you return, but it may have also encouraged mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And in the winter, not using the furnace could lead to pipes icing over or even bursting. It’s an awful feeling to get home from a vacation only to discover considerable water damage nearby a broken pipe.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can make temperature adjustments even when you're just going to work. Since you’re out of the house for 8 hours or more, it doesn’t seem sensible to keep an empty home heated or cooled as if you were there. As a general rule, it’s recommended to raise the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. This means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, try 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 stated by the Department of Energy, you may save about 10% on your HVAC expenses by increasing the adjustment to 7-10 degrees.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While on a Trip in Summer
If you’re leaving for a longer trip in the hottest part of summer, you can make more significant adjustments. This ensures you don’t waste energy while still safeguarding your home from the issues that come with leaving it without air conditioning. Something like 5 degrees is suitable for short trips while a larger adjustment of 10 degrees is best if you’ll be gone for 2 weeks or more. If you enjoy keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 should offer great results.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Winter
To figure out the most energy-efficient thermostat setting for a winter getaway, 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 keep your plumbing safe while minimizing how long your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Benefits of a Smart Thermostat
One of the best ways to manage 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 monitor your typical comfort habits. It learns these preferences and makes automatic corrections to the schedule for better energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi connectivity, you can remotely control your heating and cooling from a smart device like a phone or tablet.
Smart thermostats are stuffed with features to help you save energy and lower costs. To provide an example, some models can observe electricity prices to boost heating or cooling when prices are more affordable. They can also work with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to optimize how long your HVAC system has to 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 multiple ways you can reduce 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 stir up any trouble while you’re away.