From a much-needed vacation or an extended trip for work, taking a trip means making plans for your HVAC system. You don't need it as long as you’re away, so you can adjust it as necessary to conserve your energy use. Just the same, you don’t want to just shut it down for the entire time you're out of the house.
Instead, it’s best to leave your HVAC system on and just raise or lower depending on the time of year. That way you can reduce energy costs without having to worry about returning 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 different times of year.
Here’s Why You Avoid Leaving Your Thermostat on Hold
While you may be wanting to shut your HVAC system down before a trip, this can end up causing costly problems by the time you come back. This is particularly true when the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re gone.
As an example, turning the HVAC system down during the summer can produce very high humidity. Not only will your home feel gross when you have returned, but it could have also invited mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And in the winter, leaving the furnace off can lead to pipes freezing up or even bursting. It’s exhausting to come home from a vacation only to discover substantial water damage near a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can make temperature adjustments even if you’re coming and going to work. Because you’re not home for around 8 hours or so, it doesn’t make sense to keep an empty home heated or cooled as if you were there. As a general rule, it’s encouraged to adjust the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. This means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, consider adjusting it to 76-77 while you’re gone.
But you could save even more if you try further adjustments to the temperature. As stated by the Department of Energy, you could save nearly 10% on your HVAC spending by making an adjustment of 7-10 degrees.
Best 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 hassles that come with leaving it un-air conditioned. Something like 5 degrees is appropriate for short trips while a larger adjustment of 10 degrees is ideal if you’ll be away from home for 2 weeks or more. If you like keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 will offer the best results.
Best Thermostat Settings While On a Trip in Winter
To determine the best thermostat setting for a winter getaway, just lower the temperature by the same amount you would adjust it in summer. 68 is a common winter thermostat setting, so lowering it to 63-58 will prevent ice from forming on pipes while minimizing how often your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Benefits of a Smart Thermostat
One of the best ways to optimize your home’s HVAC system while away from home is with a smart thermostat. This innovative type of programmable thermostat uses intelligent software to track your typical comfort habits. It learns these preferences and makes automatic adjustments to the schedule for maximum energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi connectivity, you can remotely adjust your heating and cooling from a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are packed with features to help you save energy and lower costs. For example, specific models can monitor electricity prices to increase heating or cooling when prices are lower. They are compatible with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to optimize how long your HVAC system has to run. It’s the optimal tool to enhance how you use your comfort system. If you’re considering investing in a smart thermostat, there are multiple ways you can bring down 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 gone.