From a much-needed vacation or a lengthy trip for work, traveling means making plans for your home comfort system. You don't need it if you’re on a trip, so you can make adjustments as needed to minimize your energy use. Just the same, you shouldn't just shut it down for the entire duration of your trip.
Instead, it’s ideal to leave your HVAC system running and adjust the temperature depending on the season. That way you can lower energy costs without stressing about getting back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll review 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 Don't Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you might be tempted to leave your HVAC system off before a trip, this could end up stirring up costly problems by the time you come back. This is notably true in case the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re out of town.
As an example, turning the HVAC system off during the summer will sometimes cause very high humidity. Not only will your home feel like a swamp when you have returned, but it might have also stimulated mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And over the winter, not using the furnace will sometimes lead to pipes freezing or even bursting. It’s an awful feeling to return home from a long trip only to find substantial water damage close to a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can optimize the temperature even as you come and go to work. Considering you’re away for around 8 hours or so, it doesn’t make sense to keep an empty home the same temperature as when you're home. As a general rule, it’s suggested to adjust the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. This means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, consider adjusting it to 76-77 while you’re gone.
But you can save even more if you’re willing to further adjust the temperature. As stated by the Department of Energy, you might save nearly 10% on your HVAC costs by making an adjustment of 7-10 degrees.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While on a Trip in Summer
If you leave for a longer trip in the heart of summer, you can make larger adjustments. This helps you avoid using too much energy while still protecting your home from the issues that come with leaving it un-air conditioned. About 5 degrees is suitable for short trips while closer to 10 degrees is best if you’ll be away from home for 2 weeks or longer. If you prefer keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 will offer great results.
Best Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Winter
To determine the most energy-efficient thermostat setting for a winter getaway, consider lowering the temperature by the same amount you would increase it in summer. 68 is a popular winter thermostat setting, so adjusting to 63-58 will keep your plumbing safe while restricting how long your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Perks of a Smart Thermostat
An ideal strategy 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 track your usual comfort habits. It applies these preferences and makes automatic changes to the schedule for higher energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi compatibility, you can remotely access your HVAC system from a smart device like a phone or tablet.
Smart thermostats are loaded with features to help you save energy and lower costs. To provide an example, some models can observe electricity prices to increase heating or cooling when prices are lower. They can also work with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to refine how long your HVAC system has to run. It’s the perfect tool to streamline how you use your comfort system. If you’re considering 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 enjoy true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t stir up any trouble while you’re away.