From a relaxing vacation or a lengthy trip for work, traveling means making plans for your HVAC system. You don't need it as long as you’re not home, so you can adjust it as appropriate to minimize your energy use. Just the same, you shouldn't just leave it off for the entire time you're out of the house.
Instead, it’s best to leave your HVAC system going and adjust the temperature depending on the season. That way you can minimize energy costs without stressing about returning to an uncomfortable home. We’ll explain why you should leave your HVAC system on as well as the ideal thermostat settings for different times of year.
Here’s Why You Avoid Leaving Your Thermostat on Hold
While you might be wanting to shut your HVAC system down before a trip, this could end up leading to costly problems by the time you return. This is especially true if the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re out of town.
For instance, turning the HVAC system down in the summer will sometimes cause very high humidity. Not only will your home feel muggy and uncomfortable when you come back, but it might have also stimulated mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And over the winter, letting your house get cold could lead to pipes icing over or even bursting. It’s exhausting to get home from a vacation only to come across considerable water damage nearby a broken pipe.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can optimize the temperature even if you’re coming and going to work. Considering you’re not home 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 suggested 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 out.
But you can save even more if you're open to further adjusting the temperature. As stated by the Department of Energy, you may save nearly 10% on your HVAC expenses by raising the temperature by about 7-10 degrees.
Best Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Summer
If you leave for an extended trip in the hottest part of summer, you can make more significant adjustments. This prevents wasting energy while still safeguarding your home from the issues that come with leaving it un-air conditioned. Around 5 degrees is recommended for brief trips while around 10 degrees is ideal 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 beneficial results.
Ideal 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 increase it in summer. 68 is a common winter thermostat setting, so adjusting to 63-58 will protect your plumbing while minimizing how frequently your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Perks 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 understand your usual comfort habits. It applies these preferences and makes automatic changes to the schedule for maximum energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi compatibility, you can remotely access your heating and cooling from a smartphone or tablet.
Smart thermostats are stuffed with features to help you save energy and lower costs. For instance, some models can observe electricity prices to bolster heating or cooling when prices are more affordable. They are compatible with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to optimize how long your HVAC system has to run. It’s the ideal tool to simplify how you use your comfort system. If you’re planning on investing in a smart thermostat, there are different ways you can bring down your costs, essentially getting a smart thermostat for free. The next time you are away from home, you can appreciate true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t cause any trouble while you’re gone.