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

If you’re planning to take a vacation, your feelings might lean toward packing your suitcase and ensuring all travel arrangements are in order. But you'll also want to prepare the house for your departure as well.

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

Adjusting the Thermostat for a Summer Vacation

If you’re on vacation at the height of summer, you can expect the temperature inside your house to go up as it gets hotter outside each day. With no air conditioning at all, the temperature can quickly surpass 90 degrees inside—not happy news if you’re concerned about sensitive items.

A good rule of thumb is to raise the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees warmer than you ordinarily do during the day without going over 85 degrees. This is a great compromise between reducing energy and protecting everything inside your home.

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

Setting the Thermostat for a Winter Vacation

To determine the ideal thermostat setting when traveling in the winter, implement the same means suggested above, but in reverse—that is, adjust' the temperature 5 to 10 degrees lower than you normally do throughout the day without dropping under 60 degrees.

The most important reason to keep your home warm while you’re away is to minimize the risk of frozen pipes. The plumbing that runs alongside exterior walls and in unconditioned spaces is the most at risk. Holding the temperature at 60 degrees or higher limits this risk. Another smart idea is to leave the cupboard doors open to help warm air circulate around the pipes beneath 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 disaster while you’re away on vacation.

Adjusting a Smart Thermostat Before Going on Vacation

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

For example, you can check in on the temperature remotely with your tablet or smartphone. Determine how often the AC or furnace has been active in your absence as it sustains the temperature you chose before you left. If you’re not happy with what you find, you can change the thermostat from anyplace with your internet-enabled device. You can even set a comfortable temperature that can resume when you’re close to an hour away from home.

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

Other Vacation Recommendations

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

  • Consider any delicate paintings, electronics or houseplants that may be susceptible to high or low temperatures.
  • If you’re leaving pets at home or have decided to have a house sitter visit, you may want to leave the temperature closer to normal—such as 80 degrees in the summer and 65 degrees in the winter—so the home is 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 looking inside while you’re absent.
  • Request HVAC maintenance before you head out to make sure your system operates properly and is unlikely to suffer from any issues while you’re gone.

Get in Touch with Eveready Service Experts

Whether you have thermostat-related questions or are wanting to request HVAC maintenance before your next vacation, the HVAC experts at Eveready Service Experts are here to help. We can recommend a new thermostat for your needs and even install it and show you how to use it. Our services include all your HVAC preferences, from maintenance and repair to installation and replacement. Call us today to raise questions or request a visit from one of our qualified heating and cooling technicians.

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