What to Set Your Thermostat to When Away

October 18, 2022

Whether it’s a tropical vacation or an extended trip for work, taking a trip means making preparations for your heating and cooling system. You don't need it while you’re on a trip, so you can adjust it as needed to limit your energy use. Simultaneously, you don’t want to just leave it off for the entire time you're gone.

For the most part, it’s ideal to leave your HVAC system on and just make adjustments depending on the time of year. That way you can lower energy costs without stressing about coming back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll explain 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 Avoid Leaving Your Thermostat on Hold

While you might be inclined to turn your HVAC system off before a trip, this could end up leading to costly 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.

As an example, turning the HVAC system off during the summer will sometimes cause very high humidity. Not only will your home feel like a swamp when you return, but it could have also stimulated 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 exhausting to get home from a long trip only to come across extensive water damage nearby a broken pipe.

Ideal Thermostat Settings While at Work

You can adjust the temperature even as you come and go to work. Since you’re out of the house 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. As a general rule, it’s suggested to raise the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. That means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, try raising it to 76-77 while you’re out.

But you may save even more if you try further adjustments to the temperature. As stated by the Department of Energy, you may save nearly 10% on your HVAC expenses by increasing the adjustment to 7-10 degrees.

Ideal Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Summer

If you leave for a lengthier trip in the middle of summer, you can make more significant adjustments. This ensures you don’t waste energy while still safeguarding your home from the issues that come with leaving it un-air conditioned. About 5 degrees is recommended for short trips while closer to 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 can offer great results.

Recommended Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Winter

To determine the ideal thermostat setting for a winter trip, just lower the temperature by the same amount you would increase it in summer. 68 is a frequent winter thermostat setting, so adjusting to 63-58 will prevent ice from forming on pipes while minimizing how long your furnace operates.

A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Advantages of a Smart Thermostat

A great way to regulate your home’s HVAC system while away from home is with a smart thermostat. This innovative type of programmable thermostat utilizes intelligent software to monitor your typical comfort habits. It learns these preferences and makes automatic adjustments to the schedule for better energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi compatibility, you can remotely control your HVAC system from a mobile device or tablet.

Smart thermostats are packed 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 lower. They are compatible with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to refine how long your HVAC system should run. It’s the perfect tool to streamline how you use your comfort system. If you’re thinking about investing in a smart thermostat, there are a variety of ways you can bring down your costs, effectively 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 cause any trouble while you’re gone.