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

If you’re preparing to take a vacation, your feelings might focus on packing your suitcase and seeing to it that all your travel arrangements are in place. But you'll also want to prepare the house for your time away as well.

One frequent question people have is this: What should I adjust my thermostat to while I'm on vacation? Your hope will often be to save money, but you'll still want to avoid turning off your HVAC system. The furnace or air conditioner should still run a little to avoid severe heat or cold, depending on the season. Here’s what you have to know about setting your thermostat when you leave on vacation.

Setting the Thermostat for a Summer Vacation

If you’re traveling at the peak of summer, you should expect the temperature inside your house to rise as it gets hotter outside each day. If you don't have air conditioning, the temperature could rapidly top 90 degrees inside—not happy news if you’re concerned about sensitive belongings.

A good guideline is to adjust the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees higher than you usually do over the course of the day without going over 85 degrees. This is a great compromise between reducing energy and protecting the interior of your home.

If you prefer a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat, remember that a “temporary” hold should continue your standard schedule at the next programmed time. So you have to select the “permanent” or “vacation” hold setting when going on vacation to make sure your preferred temperature sticks.

Preparing the Thermostat for a Winter Vacation

To figure out the best thermostat setting when taking a trip in the winter, use the same means recommended above, but in the opposite direction—that is, change the temperature 5 to 10 degrees lower than you usually do throughout the day without falling under 60 degrees.

The most important reason to continue heating your home while you’re out of town is to minimize the risk of frozen pipes. Any plumbing that runs alongside exterior walls and through unconditioned spaces is exposed to freezing. Holding the temperature at 60 degrees or up decreases this risk. Another smart idea is to leave the cupboard doors open to help warm air circulate around the pipes underneath your kitchen and bathroom sinks. You might also want to shut off the water at the primary shut-off valve to protect against a plumbing crisis while you’re gone.

Adjusting a Smart Thermostat Before Going on Vacation

If you don’t already use a Wi-Fi or “smart” thermostat, this may be an ideal time to upgrade. The latest advancements in thermostat technology offer excellent benefits, both while you’re at home and on a trip.

For instance, you can check 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 sustains the temperature you set before you left. If you’re concerned with what you discover, you can adjust the thermostat from anyplace 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 notify you of unforeseen environmental variations, including a higher-than-expected temperature or increased moisture while you’re gone.

More Vacation Recommendations

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

  • Don't forget about any delicate paintings, electronics or houseplants that are sensitive to hot or cold temperatures.
  • If you’re leaving pets at home or have arranged to have a house sitter visit, you may 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.
  • Close the blinds and curtains to help keep the hot sun or cold winter air outside of your home. This is also a privacy measure that prevents prying eyes from peering inside while you’re absent.
  • Arrange for HVAC maintenance before you leave to ensure your system runs correctly and is unlikely to suffer from any problems while you’re gone.

Contact Knochelmann Service Experts

Whether you need to address thermostat-related questions or are wanting to arrange for HVAC maintenance before your upcoming vacation, the HVAC professionals at Knochelmann Service Experts are here to support you. We can point you to a new thermostat for your needs and even install it and teach you how it works. Our services encompass all your HVAC requirements, from maintenance and repair to installation and replacement. Contact us today to ask questions or request a visit from one of our qualified heating and cooling technicians.

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