From a much-needed vacation or a lengthy trip for work, traveling means making plans for your home comfort system. You can't use it if you’re on a trip, so you can make adjustments as needed to limit your energy use. Simultaneously, you don’t want to just leave it off for the entire time you're out of the house.
Instead, it’s ideal to leave your HVAC system going and adjust the temperature depending on the time of year. That way you can minimize energy costs without having to worry about returning to an uncomfortable home. We’ll explain 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 Avoid Leaving Your Thermostat on Hold
While you could be inclined to turn your HVAC system off before a trip, this will sometimes end up leading to costly problems by the time you get back. This is particularly true when the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re gone.
For example, shutting the HVAC system down during the summer could lead to very high humidity. Not only will your home feel gross when you have returned, but it might have also invited mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And in the winter, not using the furnace could lead to pipes freezing or even bursting. It’s exhausting to get home from a nice trip only to discover extensive water damage nearby a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can adjust the temperature even as you come and go to work. Because you’re out of the house for around 8 hours or so, it doesn’t help your monthly energy bill to keep an empty home heated or cooled as if you were there. As a general rule, it’s encouraged to turn up the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. Meaning 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 try further adjustments to the temperature. According to the Department of Energy, you might save nearly 10% on your HVAC spending by making an adjustment of 7-10 degrees.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While on a Trip in Summer
If you leave for a longer trip in the hottest part of summer, you can make larger adjustments. This ensures you don’t waste energy while still safeguarding your home from the issues that come with leaving it uncooled. Something like 5 degrees is suitable for short trips while around 10 degrees is worthwhile if you’ll be out of town for 2 weeks or more. If you like keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 can offer the best results.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While On a Trip in Winter
To try and find the best 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 lowering it to 63-58 will protect your plumbing while minimizing how often your furnace operates.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Benefits of a Smart Thermostat
A great way to optimize your home’s HVAC system while away is by investing in a smart thermostat. This special type of programmable thermostat employs intelligent software to understand your typical comfort habits. It learns these preferences and makes automatic corrections to the schedule for maximum energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi integration, you can remotely control your HVAC system from a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are stuffed with features to help you save on your energy bill. For instance, some models can track electricity prices to bolster 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 needs to run. It’s the perfect tool to enhance how you use your comfort system. If you’re considering investing in a smart thermostat, there are different ways you can reduce your costs, essentially 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 gone.