From a much-needed vacation or an extended trip for work, taking a trip means making plans for your heating and cooling system. You won’t be using it while you’re on a trip, so you can adjust the temperature as appropriate to minimize your energy use. Simultaneously, you shouldn't just shut it down for the entire duration of your trip.
For the most part, 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 coming back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll review why you should leave your HVAC system on as well as the best thermostat settings for various times of year.
Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you may be inclined to turn your HVAC system off before a trip, this could end up causing big problems by the time you get back. This is particularly true in case the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re gone.
As an example, switching the HVAC system off in the summer could produce very high humidity. Not only will your home feel gross when you have returned, but it may have also stimulated mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And during the winter, leaving the furnace off could lead to pipes freezing up or even bursting. It’s exhausting to come home from a vacation only to find considerable water damage close to a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can make temperature adjustments even when you're just going to work. Since you’re away for about 8 hours or longer, it doesn’t make sense to keep an empty home at the same temperature you’d usually have. Generally, it’s encouraged to raise the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. Meaning that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, think about raising it to 76-77 while you’re out.
But you could save even more if you’re willing to further adjust the temperature. As reported by the Department of Energy, you may save about 10% on your HVAC costs by making an adjustment of 7-10 degrees.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While on a Trip in Summer
If you’re leaving for a longer trip in the middle of summer, you can make larger adjustments. This prevents wasting energy while still safeguarding your home from the issues that come with leaving it un-air conditioned. About 5 degrees is recommended for short trips while closer to 10 degrees is worthwhile if you’ll be away from home for 2 weeks or longer. If you prefer keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 will offer the best results.
Best Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Winter
To determine the ideal thermostat setting for a winter trip, consider lowering the temperature by the same amount you would adjust it in summer. 68 is a common winter thermostat setting, so turning it down to 63-58 will protect your plumbing while minimizing how frequently your furnace operates.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Advantages of a Smart Thermostat
An ideal strategy to optimize your home’s HVAC system while out of the house is by investing in a smart thermostat. This advanced type of programmable thermostat uses intelligent software to monitor your preferred comfort habits. It gradually understands these preferences and makes automatic changes to the schedule for higher energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi compatibility, you can remotely adjust your heating and cooling using a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are loaded with features to help you save on your energy bill. For example, specific models can monitor electricity prices to boost heating or cooling when prices are lowest. They can be used with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to refine how long your HVAC system should run. It’s the ideal tool to simplify how you use your comfort system. If you’re considering investing in a smart thermostat, there are multiple ways you can bring down your costs, essentially 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.