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

If you’re preparing to leave for vacation, your mind might lean toward packing your suitcase and making sure any travel arrangements are ready to go. But don’t forget to prepare the house for you being gone as well. 

One typical question people have is this: What should I my thermostat to while I’m gone? Your intention will often be to reduce costs, but try and avoid completely turning off your HVAC system. The furnace or AC unit still needs to run a little to avoid severe heat or cold, depending on the season. Here’s what you need to consider about setting your thermostat when you leave for vacation. 

Setting the Thermostat for a Summer Vacation 

If you’re taking a trip at the pinnacle of summer, you should expect the temperature inside your house to rise as it gets hotter and hotter outside each day. Without air conditioning, the temperature may easily exceed 90 degrees inside—not happy news if you’re concerned about fragile possessions. 

A good guideline is to raise the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees higher than you usually do during the day without exceeding 85 degrees. This is a good compromise between reducing energy and protecting your home’s interior. 

If you prefer a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat, remember that a “temporary” hold will resume your standard schedule at the next programmed time. So you need to use the “permanent” or “vacation” hold setting when you’re on vacation to see to it that your chosen temperature sticks. 

Preparing the Thermostat for a Winter Vacation 

To identify the best thermostat setting when taking a trip in the winter, use the same technique recommended above, but backward—that is, set the temperature 5 to 10 degrees cooler than you generally do during the day without slipping below 60 degrees. 

The biggest reason to keep your home warm while you’re away is to prevent frozen pipes. Your plumbing that runs against exterior walls and in unconditioned spaces is exposed to freezing. Holding the temperature at 60 degrees or warmer limits this risk. Another wise idea is to leave the cupboard doors open to help warm air move around the pipes under your kitchen and bathroom sinks. You might also want to shut off the water at the central shut-off valve to prevent a plumbing disaster while you’re away on vacation. 

Setting a Smart Thermostat Before Going on Vacation 

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

For instance, you can follow up on the temperature remotely with your tablet or smartphone. Figure out how frequently the AC or furnace has been running in your absence as it holds the temperature you chose before you left. If you’re concerned with what you find, you can adjust the thermostat from anywhere using your internet-enabled device. You can even set a comfortable temperature that will resume when you’re just about an hour away from home. 

For even greater peace of mind, Wi-Fi thermostats alert you of sudden environmental changes, like a higher-than-expected temperature or excess moisture while you’re out of the house. 

Other 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 are susceptible to extreme temperatures. 
  • If you’re leaving pets at home or have arranged to have a house sitter stop by, you may want to leave the temperature close to normal—such as 80 degrees in the summer and 65 degrees in the winter—so the conditions are comfortable enough for them. 
  • Close your blinds and drapes to help keep the hot sun or cold winter air outside of your home. This also helps with privacy since it stops prying eyes from looking inside while you’re away from home. 
  • Schedule HVAC maintenance before you leave to make sure your system runs correctly and is unlikely to suffer from any trouble while you’re out of town. 

Get in Touch with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing 

Whether you have thermostat-related questions or are looking to request HVAC maintenance before your upcoming vacation, the HVAC professionals 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 teach you how it works. Our services include all your HVAC goals, from maintenance and repair to installation and replacement. Contact us today to raise questions or request a visit from one of our qualified heating and cooling technicians. 

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