If you’re preparing to go on vacation, your mind might lean toward packing your suitcase and ensuring all your travel arrangements are in place. But don’t forget 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 might 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 excessive 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 peak of summer, you can expect the temperature inside your house to increase as it gets warmer outside each day. Without air conditioning, the temperature could rapidly exceed 90 degrees inside—not good news if you’re concerned about sensitive items.
A good rule of thumb is to raise 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 will resume your regular schedule at the next programmed time. So you need to use 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 usually do throughout the day without falling lower than 60 degrees.
The biggest reason to heat your home while you’re out of town is to minimize the risk of frozen pipes. Any plumbing that runs along exterior walls and through unheated spaces is the most 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 beneath your kitchen and bathroom sinks. You will also want to turn off the water at the main shut-off valve to prevent a plumbing emergency while you’re away.
If you don’t already have 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.
For example, you can check in on the temperature remotely using your tablet or smartphone. Find out how frequently the AC or furnace has been active in your absence as it maintains the temperature you set before you left. If you’re not happy with what you see, you can adjust the thermostat from wherever using your internet-enabled device. You can even set a comfortable temperature that can resume when you’re about an hour away from home.
For even greater peace of mind, Wi-Fi thermostats alert you of unforeseen environmental changes, 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 have thermostat-related questions or are looking to schedule HVAC maintenance before your upcoming vacation, the HVAC professionals at Neal Harris 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 cover all your HVAC needs, from maintenance and repair to installation and replacement. Get in touch with us today to ask questions or schedule a visit from one of our qualified heating and cooling technicians.
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