If you’re planning to go on vacation, your thoughts might lean toward packing your suitcase and seeing to it that all your travel arrangements are in order. But don’t forget to prepare the house for your departure as well.
One frequent question people ask 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 conserving energy and protecting everything inside your home.
If you have a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat, remember that a “temporary” hold is supposed to return to 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 traveling in the winter, use the same method suggested above, but in reverse—that is, set the temperature 5 to 10 degrees lower than you normally do throughout the day without falling below 60 degrees.
The biggest reason to heat your home while you’re out of town is to avoid frozen pipes. Any plumbing that runs along exterior walls and through unfinished spaces is the most at risk. Keeping the temperature at 60 degrees or up reduces this risk. Another wise idea is to leave the cupboard doors open to help warm air flow around the pipes under your kitchen and bathroom sinks. You may 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 use 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 turning on in your absence as it holds the temperature you set before you left. If you’re not happy with what you discover, you can adjust the thermostat from anywhere with 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, like 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 looking to arrange for HVAC maintenance before your upcoming vacation, the HVAC pros at Strogen's Service Experts are here to help. We can point you to 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 share questions or schedule a visit from one of our qualified heating and cooling technicians.
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