Between a tropical vacation or a long trip for work, leaving home means making plans for your HVAC system. You can't use it while you’re away, so you can adjust it as necessary to limit your energy use. Simultaneously, you shouldn't just shut it down for the entire time you're gone.
For the most part, it’s ideal to leave your HVAC system going and adjust the temperature depending on the season. That way you can lower energy costs without having to worry about coming back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll explain why you shouldn’t turn your HVAC system off as well as the best thermostat settings for different times of year.
Here’s Why You Avoid Leaving Your Thermostat on Hold
While you could be wanting to turn your HVAC system off before a trip, this could end up causing big problems by the time you get back. This is notably true if the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re gone.
For instance, switching the HVAC system off during the summer could cause very high humidity. Not only will your home feel like a swamp when you return, but it could have also encouraged mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And during the winter, leaving the furnace off can lead to pipes freezing or even bursting. It’s exhausting to get home from a long trip only to come across considerable water damage nearby a broken pipe.
Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can adjust the temperature even when you're just going to work. Considering you’re away for about 8 hours or longer, it doesn’t make sense to keep an empty home at the same temperature you’d usually have. Generally, it’s recommended to turn up the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. That means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, consider adjusting it to 76-77 while you’re at work.
But you could save even more if you try further adjustments to the temperature. According to the Department of Energy, you might save nearly 10% on your HVAC expenses by increasing the adjustment to 7-10 degrees.
Best 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 safeguarding your home from the issues that come with leaving it un-air conditioned. About 5 degrees is suitable for brief trips while around 10 degrees is ideal if you’ll be away from home for 2 weeks or more. If you enjoy keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 should offer great results.
Best Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Winter
To determine the most energy-efficient thermostat setting for a winter vacation, simply lower it by the same amount you would raise it in summer. 68 is a popular winter thermostat setting, so turning it down to 63-58 will prevent ice from forming on pipes while restricting how long your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Benefits of a Smart Thermostat
An ideal strategy to optimize your home’s HVAC system while away is using a smart thermostat. This innovative type of programmable thermostat utilizes intelligent software to track your usual comfort habits. It gradually understands these preferences and makes automatic changes to the schedule for higher energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi connectivity, you can remotely access your heating and cooling with a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are loaded with features to help you save on your energy bill. For instance, some models can track electricity prices to increase heating or cooling when prices are more affordable. They are compatible with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to optimize how long your HVAC system should run. It’s the perfect tool to simplify how you control your comfort system. If you’re planning on investing in a smart thermostat, there are multiple ways you can lower your costs, effectively 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 cause any trouble while you’re away from home.