What to Set Your Thermostat to When Away

October 18, 2022

From a relaxing vacation or a lengthy trip for work, leaving home means making plans for your home comfort system. You won’t be using it if you’re on a trip, so you can make adjustments as appropriate to conserve your energy use. Just the same, you don’t want to just leave it off for the entire time you're gone.

Instead, it’s best to leave your HVAC system on and adjust the temperature depending on the season. That way you can lower energy costs without worrying 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 summer and winter.

Here’s Why You Avoid Leaving Your Thermostat on Hold

While you could be inclined to turn your HVAC system off before a trip, this will sometimes end up causing big problems by the time you come back. This is particularly true if the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re out of town.

For instance, turning the HVAC system down during the summer could lead to very high humidity. Not only will your home feel like a swamp when you return, but it could have also invited mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.

And in the winter, leaving the furnace off might lead to pipes freezing up or even bursting. It’s never fun to get home from a nice trip only to discover considerable water damage near a broken pipe.

Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While at Work

You can make temperature adjustments even as you come and go to work. Because you’re out of the house for about 8 hours or longer, it doesn’t seem sensible to keep an empty home the same temperature as when you're home. In general, it’s encouraged to adjust the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. Meaning that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, consider raising it to 76-77 while you’re at work.

But you may save even more if you're open to further adjusting the temperature. As stated 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 Vacation in Summer

If you're on a longer trip in the hottest part of summer, you can make bigger adjustments. This ensures you don’t waste energy while still protecting your home from the hassles that come with leaving it uncooled. About 5 degrees is suitable for brief trips while a larger adjustment of 10 degrees is ideal if you’ll be gone for 2 weeks or more. If you prefer keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 should offer the best results.

Best Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Winter

To try and find the best thermostat setting for a winter getaway, just lower the temperature by the same amount you would raise it in summer. 68 is a frequent winter thermostat setting, so lowering it 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

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 monitor your typical comfort habits. It applies these preferences and makes automatic adjustments to the schedule for better energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi integration, you can remotely access your heating and cooling using a mobile device or tablet.

Smart thermostats are stuffed with features to help you save on your energy bill. To provide an example, some models can monitor electricity prices to increase heating or cooling when prices are lowest. They are compatible with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to fine-tune how long your HVAC system should run. It’s the ideal tool to enhance how you control your comfort system. If you’re considering investing in a smart thermostat, there are a variety of ways you can reduce 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 cause any trouble while you’re away from home.