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

If you’re getting ready to go on vacation, your thoughts might go toward packing your suitcase and seeing to it that all travel arrangements are in order. But don’t forget to prepare the house for you being gone as well. 

One typical question people share is this: What can I my thermostat to while on vacation? Your intention might be to reduce costs, but try and avoid completely turning off your HVAC system. The furnace or air conditioner should still run a little to minimize severe heat or cold, depending on the season. Here’s what you should know about setting your thermostat when you leave for vacation. 

Setting the Thermostat for a Summer Vacation 

If you’re taking a trip at the peak of summer, you can generally expect the temperature inside your house to rise as it gets hotter outside each day. With no air conditioning at all, the temperature could easily top 90 degrees inside—not good news if you’re stressed about fragile possessions. 

A good suggestion is to adjust the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees warmer than you typically do over the course of the day without exceeding 85 degrees. This is a great compromise between conserving energy and protecting your home’s interior. 

If you own a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat, remember that a “temporary” hold should resume your typical schedule at the next programmed time. So you need to try the “permanent” or “vacation” hold setting when going on vacation to make sure your chosen temperature sticks. 

Adjusting the Thermostat for a Winter Vacation 

To decide the ideal thermostat setting when taking a trip in the winter, follow the same method suggested above, but in the opposite direction—that is, set the temperature 5 to 10 degrees cooler than you usually do over the course of the day without falling lower than 60 degrees. 

The biggest reason to heat your home while you’re out of town is to minimize the risk of frozen pipes. The plumbing that runs near exterior walls and in unfinished spaces is exposed to freezing. Holding the temperature at 60 degrees or up decreases this risk. Another good idea is to leave the cupboard doors open to help warm air move around the pipes under the kitchen and bathroom sinks. You may also want to shut off the water at the central shut-off valve to protect against a plumbing emergency while you’re away. 

Preparing a Smart Thermostat Before Going on Vacation 

If you don’t already use a Wi-Fi or “smart” thermostat, this may be a wonderful time to upgrade. The latest innovations in thermostat technology offer fantastic benefits, both while you’re at home and away. 

For instance, you can follow up on the temperature remotely using your tablet or smartphone. Determine how regularly the AC or furnace has been running in your absence as it maintains the temperature you set before you left. If you’re unhappy with what you find, you can control the thermostat from wherever via your internet-enabled device. You can even set a comfortable temperature that will resume when you’re close to an hour away from home. 

For even greater peace of mind, Wi-Fi thermostats notify you of unexpected environmental variations, such as a higher-than-expected temperature or increased moisture while you’re away from home. 

More Vacation Recommendations 

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

  • Don’t forget about any delicate paintings, electronics or houseplants that can be sensitive to extreme temperatures. 
  • If you’re leaving pets at home or have planned to have a house sitter come by, you might want to leave the temperature about normal—such as 80 degrees in the summer and 65 degrees in the winter—so the home is comfortable enough for them. 
  • Close any window treatments to help keep the hot sun or cold winter air away from your home. This is also a good idea if you want privacy because it stops prying eyes from taking a look inside while you’re away. 
  • Request HVAC maintenance before you head out to ensure your system operates correctly and is unlikely to experience any trouble while you’re away. 

Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing 

Whether you want to ask thermostat-related questions or are hoping to arrange for HVAC maintenance before your upcoming vacation, the HVAC experts at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are here to assist. We can suggest a new thermostat for your needs and even install it and demonstrate how it works. Our services cover all your HVAC requirements, from maintenance and repair to installation and replacement. Contact us today to ask questions or set up a visit from one of our qualified heating and cooling technicians. 

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