If you’re planning to go on vacation, your thoughts might lean toward packing your suitcase and ensuring all your travel arrangements are in order. But don’t forget 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 height of summer, you can 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 may quickly exceed 90 degrees inside—not exciting news if you’re concerned about sensitive belongings.
A good rule of thumb is to adjust the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees higher than you usually do during the day without exceeding 85 degrees. This is the perfect compromise between saving energy and protecting your home’s interior.
If you have a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat, remember that a “temporary” hold will return to your typical schedule at the next programmed time. So you need to use 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, follow the same method recommended above, but backward—that is, set the temperature 5 to 10 degrees lower than you generally do during the day without falling lower than 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 through unconditioned 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 beneath your kitchen and bathroom sinks. You might also want to turn off the water at the main shut-off valve to prevent a plumbing disaster while you’re away on vacation.
If you don’t already use a Wi-Fi or “smart” thermostat, this may be a great time to upgrade. The latest advancements in thermostat technology feature excellent benefits, both while you’re at home and away.
For instance, you can check in on the temperature remotely using your tablet or smartphone. Find out how often 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 find, you can adjust the thermostat from anywhere 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, 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 need to address thermostat-related questions or are looking to arrange for HVAC maintenance before your upcoming vacation, the HVAC experts at Knochelmann 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. Call us today to ask questions or request a visit from one of our qualified heating and cooling technicians.
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