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 adjust the temperature as necessary to minimize your energy use. Simultaneously, you don’t want to just turn it off for the entire duration of your trip.

Instead, it’s better to leave your HVAC system running and adjust the temperature depending on the time of year. That way you can reduce energy costs without worrying about getting back to an uncomfortable home. We’ll review why you shouldn’t turn your HVAC system off as well as the ideal thermostat settings for various times of year.

This Is Why You Shouldn’t Leave Your Thermostat on Hold

While you might be tempted to shut your HVAC system down before a trip, this could end up causing costly problems by the time you get back. This is particularly true in case the weather will be severely hot or cold while you’re away from home.

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

And in the winter, not using the furnace can lead to pipes freezing or even bursting. It’s an awful feeling to return home from a nice trip only to find considerable water damage nearby a broken pipe.

Best Thermostat Settings While at Work

You can make temperature adjustments even as you come and go to work. Considering you’re away for around 8 hours or so, it doesn’t make sense to keep an empty home the same temperature as when you're home. In general, it’s recommended to adjust the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. That means that if you prefer a comfortable 72 degrees, think about adjusting it to 76-77 while you’re gone.

But you can save even more if you try further adjustments to the temperature. As stated by the Department of Energy, you could save about 10% on your HVAC spending by making an adjustment of 7-10 degrees.

Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings While on a Trip in Summer

If you’re leaving for an extended trip in the middle of summer, you can make larger adjustments. This ensures you don’t waste energy while still safeguarding your home from the hassles that come with leaving it without air conditioning. About 5 degrees is recommended for short trips while a larger adjustment of 10 degrees is ideal if you’ll be away from home for 2 weeks or longer. If you prefer keeping the house at 72 in the summer, 78-82 will offer great results.

Best Thermostat Settings While Away from Home in Winter

To try and find 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 common winter thermostat setting, so adjusting to 63-58 will prevent ice from forming on pipes while restricting how long your furnace runs.

Smart Thermostats Are Even Better: Benefits of Smart Thermostat Installation

A great way to optimize your home’s HVAC system while away is with a smart thermostat. This innovative type of programmable thermostat utilizes intelligent software to monitor your preferred comfort habits. It learns these preferences and makes automatic changes to the schedule for better energy efficiency. And with Wi-Fi integration, you can remotely access your HVAC system with a smartphone or tablet.

Smart thermostats are stuffed with features to help you save even more. To provide an example, specific models can monitor electricity prices to bolster heating or cooling when prices are more affordable. They are compatible with high-efficiency, variable-speed equipment to refine how long your HVAC system should run. It’s the ideal tool to streamline how you use your comfort system. If you’re planning on 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 leave for vacation, you can appreciate true peace of mind that your HVAC system won’t stir up any trouble while you’re away from home.