From a much-needed vacation or an extended trip for work, taking a trip means making plans for your home comfort system. You won’t be using it if you’re away, so you can adjust it as needed to conserve your energy use. At the same time, you don’t want to just turn it off for the entire time you're out of the house.
Instead, it’s better to leave your HVAC system on and just make adjustments depending on whether it's winter or summer. That way you can minimize energy costs without stressing about coming back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll review why you shouldn’t turn your HVAC system off as well as the most energy-efficient thermostat settings for various times of year.
Here’s Why You Avoid Leaving Your Thermostat on Hold
While you may be wanting to leave your HVAC system off before a trip, this could end up causing annoying problems by the time you return. This is notably true if the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re out of town.
For example, shutting the HVAC system down in the summer can cause very high humidity. Not only will your home feel like a swamp when you come back, but it might have also invited mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.
And during the winter, leaving the furnace off can lead to pipes icing over or even bursting. It’s an awful feeling to return home from a long trip only to discover extensive water damage close to a broken pipe.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While at Work
You can optimize the temperature even when you're just going to work. Because you’re out of the house for about 8 hours or longer, it doesn’t help your monthly energy bill to keep an empty home at the same temperature you’d usually have. 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 can save even more if you're open to further adjusting the temperature. As reported by the Department of Energy, you may 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 leave for an extended trip in the middle of summer, you can make larger adjustments. This prevents wasting energy while still defending your home from the hassles that come with leaving it without air conditioning. About 5 degrees is recommended for short trips while a larger adjustment of 10 degrees is worthwhile if you’ll be out of town for 2 weeks or longer. If you enjoy keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 can offer great results.
Ideal Thermostat Settings While On a Trip in Winter
To figure out the most energy-efficient thermostat setting for a winter trip, simply lower it by the same amount you would raise 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 frequently your furnace runs.
A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Perks of a Smart Thermostat
An ideal strategy to manage your home’s HVAC system while away from home is by investing in a smart thermostat. This advanced type of programmable thermostat employs intelligent software to monitor your usual 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 with a mobile device or tablet.
Smart thermostats are stuffed with features to help you save energy and lower costs. To provide an example, certain models can track electricity prices to boost heating or cooling when prices are more affordable. They can be used with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to optimize how long your HVAC system needs to run. It’s the perfect tool to enhance how you control your comfort system. If you’re thinking about investing in a smart thermostat, there are different ways you can lower your costs, in essence getting a smart thermostat for free. The next time you are away from home, you can receive true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t stir up any trouble while you’re away from home.