From a relaxing vacation or a long trip for work, traveling means making plans for your home comfort system. You don't need it as long as you’re not home, so you can adjust the temperature as appropriate to minimize your energy use. At the same time, you don’t want to just leave it off for the entire time you're out of the house.
For the most part, it’s ideal to leave your HVAC system going and adjust the temperature depending on whether it's winter or summer. That way you can reduce energy costs without worrying 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 different times of year.
Here’s Why You Avoid Leaving Your Thermostat on Hold
While you could be inclined to leave your HVAC system off before a trip, this could end up leading to annoying problems by the time you return. This is notably true in case the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re away from home.
As an example, turning the HVAC system off during the summer can lead to very high humidity. Not only will your home feel like a swamp when you have returned, but it might have also encouraged mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And during the winter, leaving the furnace off might lead to pipes freezing up or even bursting. It’s exhausting to get home from a nice trip only to discover extensive water damage nearby 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 out of the house for around 8 hours or so, it doesn’t make sense to keep an empty home at the same temperature you’d usually have. In general, it’s suggested to raise the thermostat by 5 degrees or so. This means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, think about adjusting it to 76-77 while you’re out.
But you may save even more if you're open to further adjusting the temperature. As stated by the Department of Energy, you could save around 10% on your HVAC costs by making an adjustment of 7-10 degrees.
Best Thermostat Settings While on a Trip in Summer
If you’re leaving for an extended trip in the heart of summer, you can make more significant adjustments. This ensures you don’t waste energy while still defending your home from the issues that come with leaving it un-air conditioned. About 5 degrees is recommended for shorter trips while closer to 10 degrees is best if you’ll be gone for 2 weeks or more. If you prefer keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 will offer beneficial results.
Best Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Winter
To figure out the most energy-efficient thermostat setting for a winter trip, just lower the temperature by the same amount you would raise it in summer. 68 is a frequent winter thermostat setting, so turning it down to 63-58 will keep your plumbing safe while minimizing how often your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Advantages of a Smart Thermostat
One of the best ways to manage your home’s HVAC system while away from home is using a smart thermostat. This advanced type of programmable thermostat uses intelligent software to understand your typical comfort habits. It applies these preferences and makes automatic adjustments to the schedule for higher energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi compatibility, you can remotely control your heating and cooling from a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are stuffed with features to help you save even more. For example, certain models can monitor electricity prices to bolster heating or cooling when prices are more affordable. They can also work with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to optimize how long your HVAC system needs to run. It’s the perfect tool to simplify how you control your comfort system. If you’re thinking about investing in a smart thermostat, there are a variety of ways you can reduce your costs, essentially getting a smart thermostat for free. The next time you are away from home, you can appreciate true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t cause any trouble while you’re away.