Between a tropical vacation or a lengthy trip for work, traveling means making plans for your heating and cooling system. You don't need it while you’re not home, so you can adjust it as necessary to limit your energy use. Just the same, you don’t want to just shut it down for the entire time you're gone.
For the most part, it’s ideal to leave your HVAC system going and adjust the temperature depending on the season. That way you can reduce energy costs without stressing about getting back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll review why you should avoid turning your HVAC system off as well as the most energy-efficient thermostat settings for various times of year.
Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you could be inclined to leave your HVAC system off before a trip, this will sometimes end up stirring up annoying problems by the time you come back. This is particularly true when the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re away from home.
For example, shutting the HVAC system off in the summer could cause very high humidity. Not only will your home feel gross when you come back, but it might have also stimulated mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And over the winter, leaving the furnace off can lead to pipes icing over or even bursting. It’s never fun to get home from a long trip only to find extensive water damage close to a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can adjust the temperature 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 at the same temperature you’d usually have. Generally, it’s encouraged to adjust the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. That means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, consider increasing it to 76-77 while you’re out.
But you could save even more if you're open to further adjusting the temperature. As reported by the Department of Energy, you could save around 10% on your HVAC spending by making an adjustment of 7-10 degrees.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While on a Trip in Summer
If you're on a lengthier trip in the hottest part of summer, you can make more significant adjustments. This helps you avoid using too much energy while still protecting your home from the hassles that come with leaving it un-air conditioned. Something like 5 degrees is suitable for brief trips while around 10 degrees is worthwhile if you’ll be away from home for 2 weeks or longer. If you like keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 can offer beneficial results.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While On a Trip in Winter
To figure out the ideal thermostat setting for a winter trip, just lower the temperature by the same amount you would raise it in summer. 68 is a frequent winter thermostat setting, so turning it down to 63-58 will protect your plumbing while minimizing how often your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Perks of a Smart Thermostat
One of the best ways to regulate your home’s HVAC system while away is by investing in a smart thermostat. This special type of programmable thermostat uses intelligent software to understand your preferred comfort habits. It learns these preferences and makes automatic changes to the schedule for better energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi connectivity, you can remotely control your HVAC system from a smartphone or tablet.
Smart thermostats are stuffed with features to help you save energy and lower costs. For instance, specific models can track electricity prices to bolster heating or cooling when prices are more affordable. They are compatible with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to refine how long your HVAC system should run. It’s the perfect tool to simplify how you control your comfort system. If you’re planning on investing in a smart thermostat, there are different ways you can reduce your costs, in essence 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 gone.