From a much-needed vacation or an extended trip for work, taking a trip means making plans for your HVAC system. You can't use it as long as you’re away, so you can make adjustments as necessary to minimize your energy use. Simultaneously, you shouldn't just turn it off for the entire duration of your trip.
Instead, it’s ideal to leave your HVAC system going and just make adjustments depending on the season. 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 ideal thermostat settings for various times of year.
Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you might be tempted to leave your HVAC system off before a trip, this will sometimes end up causing annoying problems by the time you get back. This is especially true in case the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re out of town.
As an example, switching the HVAC system off during the summer could produce very high humidity. Not only will your home feel muggy and uncomfortable when you have returned, but it may have also invited mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And over the winter, leaving the furnace off might lead to pipes freezing up or even bursting. It’s an awful feeling to come home from a long trip only to find considerable water damage near a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can adjust the temperature even if you’re coming and going to work. Considering you’re not home for around 8 hours or so, it doesn’t help your monthly energy bill to keep an empty home at the same temperature you’d usually have. Generally, it’s recommended to adjust the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. That means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, consider raising it to 76-77 while you’re out.
But you may save even more if you’re willing to further adjust the temperature. As stated by the Department of Energy, you could save about 10% on your HVAC spending by making an adjustment of 7-10 degrees.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Summer
If you’re leaving for a lengthier trip in the hottest part of summer, you can make more significant adjustments. This ensures you don’t waste energy while still protecting your home from the problems that come with leaving it un-air conditioned. About 5 degrees is appropriate for brief 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 should offer the best results.
Best Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Winter
To figure out the most energy-efficient thermostat setting for a winter vacation, simply lower it by the same amount you would increase it in summer. 68 is a popular winter thermostat setting, so lowering it to 63-58 will keep your plumbing safe while minimizing how long your furnace operates.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Advantages of a Smart Thermostat
One of the best ways to manage your home’s HVAC system while away is using a smart thermostat. This innovative type of programmable thermostat employs intelligent software to monitor your usual comfort habits. It applies these preferences and makes automatic corrections to the schedule for better energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi integration, you can remotely access your HVAC system using a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are loaded with features to help you save energy and lower costs. For example, certain models can track electricity prices to increase heating or cooling when prices are more affordable. They can also work with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to fine-tune how long your HVAC system has to run. It’s the ideal tool to enhance 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, effectively getting a smart thermostat for free. The next time you leave for vacation, you can appreciate true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t cause any trouble while you’re away.