From a much-needed vacation or a lengthy trip for work, traveling means making preparations for your home comfort system. You don't need it while you’re on a trip, so you can adjust it as needed to conserve your energy use. Simultaneously, you don’t want to just leave it off for the entire duration of your trip.
For the most part, it’s ideal to leave your HVAC system running and just raise or lower depending on whether it's winter or summer. That way you can lower energy costs without worrying about coming back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll review why you should avoid turning your HVAC system off as well as the ideal thermostat settings for various times of year.
Here’s Why You Don't Leave Your Thermostat on Hold
While you may be inclined to leave your HVAC system off before a trip, this can end up leading to costly problems by the time you return. This is especially true when the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re away from home.
For instance, switching 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 during the winter, letting your house get cold will sometimes lead to pipes freezing up or even bursting. It’s an awful feeling to return home from a long trip only to come across substantial water damage close to a broken pipe.
Best Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can adjust the temperature even when you're just going to work. Considering you’re away 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. Generally, it’s suggested to raise the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. That means 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 might save about 10% on your HVAC expenses by making an adjustment of 7-10 degrees.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Summer
If you’re leaving for a longer trip in the heart of summer, you can make bigger adjustments. This ensures you don’t waste energy while still protecting your home from the problems that come with leaving it uncooled. About 5 degrees is suitable for brief trips while closer to 10 degrees is best if you’ll be gone for 2 weeks or longer. If you prefer keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 should offer beneficial results.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Winter
To determine the most energy-efficient thermostat setting for a winter trip, consider lowering the temperature by the same amount you would raise it in summer. 68 is a common winter thermostat setting, so turning it down to 63-58 will prevent ice from forming on pipes while restricting how often your furnace operates.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Advantages of a Smart Thermostat
An ideal strategy to manage your home’s HVAC system while away is by investing in a smart thermostat. This innovative type of programmable thermostat uses intelligent software to track your preferred comfort habits. It gradually understands 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 loaded with features to help you save on your energy bill. For instance, certain models can monitor electricity prices to bolster heating or cooling when prices are lower. 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 streamline how you use your comfort system. If you’re thinking about investing in a smart thermostat, there are multiple ways you can bring down your costs, in essence 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 away.