If you’re planning to go on vacation, your thoughts might lean toward packing your suitcase and ensuring all your travel arrangements are in order. But you’ll also want to prepare the house for your departure as well.
One common question people ask is this: What should I my thermostat to while on vacation? Your goal will often be to save money, but don’t be tempted to completely turn off your HVAC system. The furnace or air conditioner still needs to run a little to avoid severe heat or cold, depending on the season. Here’s what you need to know about setting your thermostat when you leave on vacation.
If you’re traveling at the height of summer, you can expect the temperature inside your house to increase as it gets hotter and hotter outside each day. With no air conditioning at all, the temperature could quickly exceed 90 degrees inside—not happy news if you’re concerned about sensitive possessions.
A good rule of thumb is to increase the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees higher than you usually do over the course of the day without exceeding 85 degrees. This is the perfect compromise between saving energy and protecting your home’s interior.
If you have a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat, remember that a “temporary” hold is supposed to return to your standard schedule at the next programmed time. So you have to try the “permanent” or “vacation” hold setting when going out of town to make sure your chosen temperature sticks.
To determine the ideal thermostat setting when on vacation in the winter, use the same method recommended above, but in reverse—that is, set the temperature 5 to 10 degrees lower than you usually do over the course of the day without dropping below 60 degrees.
The biggest reason to heat your home while you’re away is to prevent frozen pipes. Any plumbing that runs along exterior walls and through unfinished spaces is exposed to freezing. Keeping the temperature at 60 degrees or higher reduces this risk. Another wise idea is to leave the cupboard doors open to help warm air circulate around the pipes under your kitchen and bathroom sinks. You will also want to turn off the water at the main shut-off valve to prevent a plumbing crisis while you’re away.
If you don’t already use a Wi-Fi or “smart” thermostat, this could be a great time to upgrade. The latest advancements in thermostat technology feature excellent benefits, both while you’re at home and away.
As an example, you can check in on the temperature remotely using your tablet or smartphone. Find out how often the AC or furnace has been running in your absence as it maintains the temperature you set before you left. If you’re not happy with what you discover, you can adjust the thermostat from anywhere using your internet-enabled device. You can even set a comfortable temperature that will resume when you’re about an hour away from home.
For even greater peace of mind, Wi-Fi thermostats alert you of unforeseen environmental variations, like a higher-than-expected temperature or excessive moisture while you’re away from home.
Keep these factors in mind to make sure your home is good to go before leaving on your trip:
Whether you have thermostat-related questions or are hoping to arrange for HVAC maintenance before your upcoming vacation, the HVAC experts at Roland J. Down Service Experts are here to help. We can point you to a new thermostat for your needs and even install it and show you how it works. Our services cover all your HVAC needs, from maintenance and repair to installation and replacement. Get in touch with us today to ask questions or set up a visit from one of our qualified heating and cooling technicians.
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