Whether it’s a much-needed vacation or an extended trip for work, leaving home means making preparations for your home comfort system. You won’t be using it if you’re on a trip, so you can adjust the temperature as necessary to minimize your energy use. At the same time, you shouldn't just turn it off 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 whether it's winter or summer. That way you can lower energy costs without stressing about coming back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll explain why you should leave your HVAC system on as well as the most energy-efficient thermostat settings for summer and winter.
Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you might be inclined to leave your HVAC system off before a trip, this will sometimes end up leading to annoying problems by the time you return. This is particularly true in case the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re out of town.
For instance, switching the HVAC system off in the summer can 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 in the winter, letting your house get cold will sometimes lead to pipes freezing or even bursting. It’s never fun to get home from a long trip only to come across considerable 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 away for about 8 hours or longer, it doesn’t help your monthly energy bill to keep an empty home at the same temperature you’d usually have. As a general rule, it’s suggested to turn up the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. Meaning that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, think about adjusting it to 76-77 while you’re at work.
But you can save even more if you're open to further adjusting the temperature. As reported by the Department of Energy, you could save nearly 10% on your HVAC spending by raising the temperature by about 7-10 degrees.
Best Thermostat Settings While on a Trip in Summer
If you leave for a lengthier trip in the heart of summer, you can make bigger adjustments. This prevents wasting energy while still defending your home from the problems that come with leaving it un-air conditioned. Around 5 degrees is appropriate for shorter trips while around 10 degrees is worthwhile if you’ll be away from home for 2 weeks or more. If you enjoy keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 should offer the best results.
Best Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Winter
To try and find the most energy-efficient thermostat setting for a winter vacation, consider lowering the temperature 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 restricting how often your furnace operates.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Advantages of a Smart Thermostat
A great way to regulate your home’s HVAC system while away is with a smart thermostat. This advanced type of programmable thermostat utilizes intelligent software to understand your typical comfort habits. It applies these preferences and makes automatic changes to the schedule for better energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi integration, you can remotely access your heating and cooling using a smartphone or tablet.
Smart thermostats are loaded with features to help you save on your energy bill. To provide an example, specific models can track electricity prices to bolster heating or cooling when prices are lowest. They can be used with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to optimize how long your HVAC system needs to run. It’s the ideal tool to simplify how you control your comfort system. If you’re planning on investing in a smart thermostat, there are a variety of ways you can lower 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 away.