What Should I Set My Thermostat to When I'm on Vacation?

If you’re planning to leave for vacation, your mind might lean toward packing your suitcase and ensuring any travel arrangements are ready to go. But don’t forget to prepare the house for your time away as well.

One common question people have is this: What can I adjust my thermostat to while I'm gone? Your intention may be to conserve energy, but don’t be tempted to completely turn off your HVAC system. The furnace or AC unit should still run a little to avoid excessive heat or cold, depending on the season. Here’s what you should learn about setting your thermostat when you leave on vacation.

Adjusting the Thermostat for a Summer Vacation

If you’re taking a trip at the peak of summer, you can generally expect the temperature inside your house to go up as it gets hotter and hotter outside each day. With no air conditioning at all, the temperature can quickly surpass 90 degrees inside—not happy news if you’re stressed about delicate possessions.

A good suggestion is to raise the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees warmer than you normally do during the day without reaching above 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 should resume your regular schedule at the next programmed time. So you need 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 best thermostat setting when taking a trip in the winter, follow the same technique proposed above, but backward—that is, set the temperature 5 to 10 degrees colder than you usually do throughout the day without falling lower than 60 degrees.

The most significant reason to heat your home while you’re away is to prevent frozen pipes. Any plumbing that runs alongside exterior walls and through unheated spaces is the most at risk. Keeping the temperature at 60 degrees or up lowers this risk. Another good idea is to keep the cupboard doors open to help warm air circulate around the pipes underneath the kitchen and bathroom sinks. You will also want to turn off the water at the main shut-off valve to protect against a plumbing emergency while you’re away.

Preparing a Smart Thermostat Before Taking a Vacation

If you don’t already have a Wi-Fi or “smart” thermostat, this may be a wonderful time to upgrade. The latest innovations in thermostat technologies offer fantastic benefits, both while you’re at home and on a trip.

For instance, you can check on the temperature remotely using your tablet or smartphone. Determine how often the AC or furnace has been active in your absence as it holds the temperature you chose before you left. If you’re concerned with what you discover, you can change the thermostat from anywhere using your internet-enabled device. You can even set a comfortable temperature that can resume when you’re just about an hour away from home.

For even more peace of mind, Wi-Fi thermostats notify you of unexpected environmental variations, including a higher-than-expected temperature or excessive moisture while you’re out of the house.

More Vacation Recommendations

Keep these things 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 hot or cold temperatures.
  • If you’re leaving pets at home or have planned to have a house sitter come by, you will want to leave the temperature closer to normal—such as 80 degrees in the summer and 65 degrees in the winter—so the conditions are comfortable enough for them.
  • Shut your blinds and drapes to help keep the hot sun or cold winter air away from your home. This also helps with privacy since it keeps prying eyes from taking a look inside while you’re absent.
  • Schedule HVAC maintenance before you go to make sure your system works properly and is unlikely to suffer from any trouble while you’re out of town.

Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning

Whether you need to address thermostat-related questions or are wanting to request HVAC maintenance before your tropical vacation, the HVAC experts at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are here to help. We can recommend a new thermostat for your needs and even install it and show you how to use it. Our services cover all your HVAC preferences, from maintenance and repair to installation and replacement. Contact us today to share questions or request a visit from one of our certified heating and cooling technicians.

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