Between a tropical vacation or an extended trip for work, leaving home means making plans for your heating and cooling system. You can't use it while you’re not home, so you can adjust it as appropriate to limit your energy use. Simultaneously, you shouldn't just turn it off for the entire time you're gone.

Instead, it’s better to leave your HVAC system going and just raise or lower depending on the time of year. That way you can reduce energy costs without worrying about coming back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll review why you should avoid turning your HVAC system off as well as the most energy-efficient thermostat settings for various times of year.

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Leave Your Thermostat Alone

While you might be inclined to shut your HVAC system down before a trip, this can end up stirring up big problems by the time you get back. This is notably true in case the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re gone.

As an example, shutting the HVAC system down in the summer could lead to very high humidity. Not only will your home feel gross when you come back, but it may have also stimulated mold/mildew growth or pest infestations.

And in the winter, leaving the furnace off can lead to pipes icing over or even bursting. It’s exhausting to get home from a vacation only to find substantial water damage nearby a broken pipe.

Ideal Thermostat Settings While at Work

You can optimize the temperature even when you're just going to work. Considering you’re not home for about 8 hours or longer, 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 so. This means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, try adjusting it to 76-77 while you’re gone.

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

Ideal Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Summer

If you’re leaving for a lengthier trip in the heart of summer, you can make more significant adjustments. This ensures you don’t waste energy while still protecting your home from the hassles that come with leaving it without air conditioning. Around 5 degrees is appropriate for short trips while around 10 degrees is best if you’ll be gone for 2 weeks or more. If you prefer keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 will offer beneficial results.

Ideal Thermostat Settings While on Vacation in Winter

To determine the best thermostat setting for a winter vacation, simply lower it by the same amount you would adjust it in summer. 68 is a frequent winter thermostat setting, so lowering it to 63-58 will keep your plumbing safe while restricting how often your furnace runs.

A Smart Thermostat Can Help: Advantages of a Smart Thermostat

An ideal strategy to manage your home’s HVAC system while away from home is using a smart thermostat. This advanced type of programmable thermostat uses intelligent software to track your preferred comfort habits. It gradually understands these preferences and makes automatic adjustments to the schedule for maximum energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi connectivity, you can remotely adjust your heating and cooling with a mobile device or tablet.

Smart thermostats are packed with features to help you save even more. To provide an example, specific models can observe electricity prices to increase heating or cooling when prices are more affordable. They are compatible with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to fine-tune how long your HVAC system needs to run. It’s the ideal tool to simplify how you use your comfort system. If you’re thinking about investing in a smart thermostat, there are multiple ways you can reduce 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.