What to Set Your Thermostat to When Away

October 18, 2022

From a much-needed vacation or a long trip for work, traveling means making plans for your home comfort system. You won’t be using it as long as you’re on a trip, so you can adjust it as appropriate to limit your energy use. Just the same, you don’t want to just leave it off for the entire duration of your trip.

For the most part, it’s best to leave your HVAC system running and adjust the temperature depending on the time of year. That way you can reduce energy costs without stressing about getting back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll walk you through why you should avoid turning 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 may be inclined to turn your HVAC system off before a trip, this can end up leading to big problems by the time you return. This is notably true if the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re gone.

For example, turning the HVAC system off during the summer could cause very high humidity. Not only will your home feel muggy and uncomfortable when you come back, but it might have also stimulated mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.

And in the winter, leaving the furnace off could lead to pipes icing over or even bursting. It’s an awful feeling to come home from a nice trip only to find considerable water damage near a broken pipe.

Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While at Work

You can make temperature adjustments even if you’re coming and going to work. Because you’re away for around 8 hours or so, it doesn’t make sense to keep an empty home heated or cooled as if you were there. Generally, it’s suggested to raise the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. That means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, think about raising it to 76-77 while you’re out.

But you may save even more if you’re willing to further adjust the temperature. According to the Department of Energy, you may save nearly 10% on your HVAC expenses by making an adjustment of 7-10 degrees.

Best Thermostat Settings While on a Trip in Summer

If you're on a lengthier trip in the hottest part 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 without air conditioning. Something like 5 degrees is suitable for short trips while around 10 degrees is best 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 will offer great results.

Ideal Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Winter

To figure out the best thermostat setting for a winter trip, simply lower it by the same amount you would adjust it in summer. 68 is a popular winter thermostat setting, so lowering it to 63-58 will keep your plumbing safe while limiting how long your furnace operates.

A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Advantages of a Smart Thermostat

An ideal strategy to optimize your home’s HVAC system while out of the house is using a smart thermostat. This innovative type of programmable thermostat utilizes intelligent software to track your typical comfort habits. It applies these preferences and makes automatic corrections to the schedule for better energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi integration, you can remotely adjust your HVAC system using a mobile device or tablet.

Smart thermostats are loaded with features to help you save energy and lower costs. To provide an example, certain models can track electricity prices to increase heating or cooling when prices are lower. 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 streamline how you control 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 appreciate true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t cause any trouble while you’re away from home.