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

If you’re preparing to leave for vacation, your thoughts might lean toward packing your suitcase and seeing to it that any travel arrangements are in place. But remember to prepare the house for your time away as well. 

One frequent question people have is this: What can I my thermostat to while I’m gone? Your hope will often be to save money, but don’t be tempted to completely turn off your HVAC system. The furnace or AC unit should still run a little to prevent severe heat or cold, depending on the season. Here’s what you have to learn about setting your thermostat when you leave for vacation. 

Setting the Thermostat for a Summer Vacation 

If you’re taking a trip at the peak of summer, you should expect the temperature inside your house to rise as it gets hotter and hotter outside each day. If you don’t have air conditioning, the temperature may rapidly exceed 90 degrees inside—not good news if you’re stressed about sensitive items. 

A good rule of thumb is to raise the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees higher than you typically do throughout the day without exceeding 85 degrees. This is a good compromise between conserving energy and protecting everything inside your home. 

If you have a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat, keep in mind that a “temporary” hold should resume your regular schedule at the next programmed time. So you have to select the “permanent” or “vacation” hold setting when going out of town to ensure your chosen temperature sticks. 

Adjusting the Thermostat for a Winter Vacation 

To identify the ideal thermostat setting when taking a trip in the winter, use the same technique proposed above, but in the opposite direction—that is, adjust’ the temperature 5 to 10 degrees lower than you generally do throughout the day without slipping under 60 degrees. 

The biggest reason to continue heating your home while you’re out of town is to minimize the risk of frozen pipes. The plumbing that runs alongside exterior walls and through unfinished spaces is exposed to freezing. Keeping the temperature at 60 degrees or warmer limits this risk. Another wise idea is to have the cupboard doors open to help warm air flow around the pipes under your kitchen and bathroom sinks. You might also want to turn off the water at the primary shut-off valve to avoid a plumbing disaster while you’re gone. 

Preparing a Smart Thermostat Before Leaving for Vacation 

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

For instance, you can follow up on the temperature remotely using your tablet or smartphone. Determine how regularly 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 control the thermostat from wherever with your internet-enabled device. You can even set a comfortable temperature to resume when you’re close to an hour away from home. 

For even better peace of mind, Wi-Fi thermostats alert you of sudden environmental shifts, including a higher-than-expected temperature or excessive moisture while you’re out of the house. 

Additional Vacation Recommendations 

Keep these components in mind to make sure your home is good to go before going on your trip: 

  • Remember any delicate paintings, electronics or houseplants that can be susceptible to high or low temperatures. 
  • If you’re leaving pets at home or have arranged to have a house sitter visit, you may want to leave the temperature close to normal—such as 80 degrees in the summer and 65 degrees in the winter—so the environment is comfortable enough for them. 
  • Shut the blinds and curtains to help keep the hot sun or cold winter air out of your home. This is also a good idea if you want privacy because it prevents prying eyes from peering inside while you’re away from home. 
  • Arrange for HVAC maintenance before you leave to make sure your system works efficiently and is unlikely to suffer from any problems while you’re out of town. 

Contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing 

Whether you want to ask thermostat-related questions or are wanting to schedule HVAC maintenance before your tropical vacation, the HVAC experts at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are here to assist. We can recommend a new thermostat for your needs and even install it and show you how to make the most of its features. Our services cover all your HVAC preferences, from maintenance and repair to installation and replacement. Call us today to share questions or request a visit from one of our qualified heating and cooling technicians. 

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