What Should I Set My Thermostat to When I'm on Vacation?
If you’re getting ready to leave for vacation, your feelings might focus on packing your suitcase and seeing to it that all travel arrangements are in place. But don’t forget to prepare the house for your departure as well.
One common question people share is this: What will I need to adjust my thermostat to while I'm on vacation? Your plan may be to save money, but don’t be tempted to completely turn off your HVAC system. The furnace or AC unit still needs to run a little to avoid excessive heat or cold, depending on the season. Here’s what you should know about setting your thermostat when you leave for vacation.
Setting the Thermostat for a Summer Vacation
If you’re on vacation at the pinnacle of summer, you should expect the temperature inside your house to rise as it gets warmer outside each day. Without air conditioning, the temperature can quickly top 90 degrees inside—not good news if you’re worried about sensitive possessions.
A good guideline is to increase the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees warmer than you usually do throughout the day without exceeding 85 degrees. This is a good compromise between reducing energy and protecting the interior of your home.
If you own a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat, remember that a “temporary” hold will return to your typical schedule at the next programmed time. So you have to select the “permanent” or “vacation” hold setting when going out of town to see to it that your chosen temperature sticks.
Adjusting the Thermostat for a Winter Vacation
To figure out the ideal thermostat setting when on vacation in the winter, follow the same means recommended above, but in the opposite direction—that is, set the temperature 5 to 10 degrees cooler than you generally do during the day without falling lower than 60 degrees.
The most important reason to continue heating your home while you’re away is to prevent frozen pipes. The plumbing that runs along exterior walls and inside unfinished spaces is at risk. Holding the temperature at 60 degrees or up limits this risk. Another great idea is to leave the cupboard doors open to help warm air circulate around the pipes beneath your kitchen and bathroom sinks. You might also want to shut off the water at the primary shut-off valve to protect against a plumbing crisis while you’re gone.
Preparing a Smart Thermostat Before Leaving for Vacation
If you don’t already use a Wi-Fi or “smart” thermostat, this could be an ideal time to upgrade. The latest enhancements in thermostat systems offer excellent benefits, both while you’re at home and on a trip.
As an example, you can follow up on the temperature remotely using your tablet or smartphone. Determine how often the AC or furnace has been turning on in your absence as it sustains the temperature you decided on before you left. If you’re unsatisfied with what you find, you can change the thermostat from anyplace with your internet-enabled device. You can even set a comfortable temperature that will resume when you’re under an hour away from home.
For even better peace of mind, Wi-Fi thermostats notify you of unexpected environmental variations, such as a higher-than-expected temperature or excessive moisture while you’re away from home.
More Vacation Recommendations
Keep these factors in mind to make sure your home is good to go before going on your trip:
- Consider any delicate paintings, electronics or houseplants that could be vulnerable to high or low temperatures.
- If you’re leaving pets at home or have arranged to have a house sitter stop by, you might want to leave the temperature about normal—such as 80 degrees in the summer and 65 degrees in the winter—so the conditions are comfortable enough for them.
- Close your blinds and drapes to help keep the hot sun or cold winter air outside of your home. This is also a privacy measure that stops prying eyes from taking a look inside while you’re absent.
- Schedule HVAC maintenance before you leave to make sure your system operates efficiently and is unlikely to suffer from any problems while you’re gone.
Get in Touch with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning
Whether you want to ask thermostat-related questions or are hoping to arrange for HVAC maintenance before your upcoming vacation, the HVAC pros at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are here to assist. We can suggest a new thermostat for your needs and even install it and show you how it works. Our services cover all your HVAC preferences, from maintenance and repair to installation and replacement. Contact us today to raise questions or set up a visit from one of our qualified heating and cooling technicians.