If you’re getting ready to go on vacation, your thoughts might lean toward packing your suitcase and ensuring all your travel arrangements are ready to go. But don’t forget to prepare the house for your departure as well.
One typical question people have is this: What should I my thermostat to while on vacation? Your goal may 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 extreme heat or cold, depending on the season. Here’s what you have to know about setting your thermostat when you leave on vacation.
If you’re on vacation at the peak of summer, you can expect the temperature inside your house to increase as it gets hotter outside each day. Without air conditioning, 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 throughout the day without exceeding 85 degrees. This is the perfect compromise between reducing energy and protecting your home’s interior.
If you have a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat, remember that a “temporary” hold is supposed to continue your regular schedule at the next programmed time. So you should select 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, follow the same method proposed above, but in reverse—that is, set the temperature 5 to 10 degrees lower than you normally do throughout the day without slipping below 60 degrees.
The biggest reason to heat your home while you’re away is to minimize the risk of frozen pipes. Any plumbing that runs along exterior walls and through unconditioned spaces is at risk. 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 underneath 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 own a Wi-Fi or “smart” thermostat, this could be a great time to upgrade. The latest advancements in thermostat technology provide outstanding benefits, both while you’re at home and away.
For example, you can check in on the temperature remotely using your tablet or smartphone. Find out how regularly the AC or furnace has been running in your absence as it sustains the temperature you set before you left. If you’re not happy with what you see, you can adjust the thermostat from anywhere with 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 more peace of mind, Wi-Fi thermostats alert you of unforeseen environmental shifts, such as 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 want to ask thermostat-related questions or are hoping to request HVAC maintenance before your tropical vacation, the HVAC pros at Stevenson Service Experts are here to support you. We can recommend a new thermostat for your needs and even install it and show you how it works. Our services encompass all your HVAC needs, from maintenance and repair to installation and replacement. Contact us today to raise questions or request a visit from one of our qualified heating and cooling technicians.
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