If you’re preparing to go on vacation, your mind might lean toward packing your suitcase and ensuring all your travel arrangements are ready to go. But don’t forget to prepare the house for your departure as well.
One common question people ask is this: What should I my thermostat to while on vacation? Your goal will often 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 should 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 warmer outside each day. If you don’t have air conditioning, the temperature could rapidly exceed 90 degrees inside—not good 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 reducing energy and protecting your home’s interior.
If you have a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat, remember that a “temporary” hold should resume your regular schedule at the next programmed time. So you need to try 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 proposed above, but in reverse—that is, set the temperature 5 to 10 degrees lower than you usually do during the day without dropping 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 unheated spaces is the most at risk. Keeping the temperature at 60 degrees or higher reduces this risk. Another wise 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 turn off the water at the main shut-off valve to prevent a plumbing disaster 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.
As an example, 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 see, you can adjust the thermostat from wherever 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 greater peace of mind, Wi-Fi thermostats alert you of unforeseen environmental variations, 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 leaving on your trip:
Whether you have thermostat-related questions or are looking to arrange for HVAC maintenance before your upcoming vacation, the HVAC experts at A-Plus are here to help. We can recommend a new thermostat for your needs and even install it and show you how it works. Our services encompass all your HVAC needs, from maintenance and repair to installation and replacement. Get in touch with us today to ask questions or schedule a visit from one of our qualified heating and cooling technicians.
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