If you’re planning to go on vacation, your feelings might lean toward packing your suitcase and ensuring all your travel arrangements are in order. But remember 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 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 saving energy and protecting everything inside your home.
If you have a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat, remember that a “temporary” hold is supposed to resume your standard schedule at the next programmed time. So you need 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 taking a trip in the winter, follow the same method recommended above, but in reverse—that is, set the temperature 5 to 10 degrees lower than you normally do throughout the day without dropping below 60 degrees.
The biggest reason to heat your home while you’re out of town is to prevent frozen pipes. Any plumbing that runs along exterior walls and inside unconditioned 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 move around the pipes under your kitchen and bathroom sinks. You may also want to turn off the water at the primary shut-off valve to prevent a plumbing disaster while you’re gone.
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 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 see, you can adjust the thermostat from anyplace via your internet-enabled device. You can even set a comfortable temperature to 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, including 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 departing on your trip:
Whether you have thermostat-related questions or are wanting to schedule HVAC maintenance before your next vacation, the HVAC pros at Chief/Bauer 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. Contact us today to ask questions or schedule a visit from one of our qualified heating and cooling technicians.
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