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

If you’re planning to take a vacation, your feelings might drift to packing your suitcase and seeing to it that all your travel arrangements are in order. But you'll also want to prepare the house for you being gone as well.

One typical question people share is this: What can I adjust my thermostat to while on vacation? Your hope will often be to conserve energy, but you'll still want to avoid turning off your HVAC system. The furnace or AC system should still run a little to minimize excessive heat or cold, depending on the season. Here’s what you should consider about setting your thermostat when you leave for vacation.

Setting the Thermostat for a Summer Vacation

If you’re on vacation at the pinnacle of summer, you should 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 can quickly top 90 degrees inside—not good news if you’re worried about delicate belongings.

A good guideline is to adjust the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees higher than you normally do throughout the day without reaching above 85 degrees. This is an ideal compromise between conserving energy and protecting your home’s interior.

If you own a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat, remember that a “temporary” hold will resume your regular schedule at the next programmed time. So you have to select the “permanent” or “vacation” hold setting when you're on vacation to make sure your preferred temperature sticks.

Setting the Thermostat for a Winter Vacation

To identify the ideal thermostat setting when on vacation in the winter, implement the same means suggested above, but in the opposite direction—that is, set the temperature 5 to 10 degrees lower than you usually do over the course of the day without dropping under 60 degrees.

The most significant reason to continue heating your home while you’re on vacation is to avoid frozen pipes. Any plumbing that runs against exterior walls and in unheated spaces is at risk. Maintaining the temperature at 60 degrees or higher lowers this risk. Another great idea is to keep the cupboard doors open to help warm air flow around the pipes beneath your kitchen and bathroom sinks. You will also want to shut off the water at the primary shut-off valve to avoid a plumbing disaster while you’re away on vacation.

Setting a Smart Thermostat Before Leaving for Vacation

If you don’t already have a Wi-Fi or “smart” thermostat, this can be a wonderful time to upgrade. The latest advancements in thermostat systems feature excellent benefits, both while you’re at home and on vacation.

For instance, you can check in on the temperature remotely via your tablet or smartphone. Figure out how frequently the AC or furnace has been turning on in your absence as it sustains the temperature you set before you left. If you’re not happy with what you see, you can control the thermostat from anywhere using your internet-enabled device. You can even set a comfortable temperature to resume when you’re about an hour away from home.

For even more peace of mind, Wi-Fi thermostats alert you of sudden environmental shifts, such as a higher-than-expected temperature or excessive moisture while you’re away from home.

More Vacation Recommendations

Keep these components in mind to see to it that your home is good to go before leaving on your trip:

  • Consider any delicate paintings, electronics or houseplants that are vulnerable to hot or cold temperatures.
  • If you’re leaving pets at home or have decided to have a house sitter visit, you might want to leave the temperature about normal—such as 80 degrees in the summer and 65 degrees in the winter—so the conditions are comfortable enough for them.
  • Shut the blinds and curtains to help keep the hot sun or cold winter air away from your home. This is also a privacy measure that prevents prying eyes from peering inside while you’re away from home.
  • Request HVAC maintenance before you go to make sure your system operates properly and is unlikely to experience any issues while you’re out of town.

Call Air Engineers Service Experts

Whether you have thermostat-related questions or are wanting to request HVAC maintenance before your upcoming vacation, the HVAC pros at Air Engineers Service Experts are here to help. We can recommend a new thermostat for your needs and even install it and demonstrate how it works. Our services encompass all your HVAC preferences, from maintenance and repair to installation and replacement. Contact us today to ask questions or set up a visit from one of our qualified heating and cooling technicians.

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