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

If you’re getting ready to take a vacation, your feelings might go toward packing your suitcase and ensuring all travel arrangements are in place. But you'll also want to prepare the house for you being gone as well.

One typical question people have is this: What will I need to adjust my thermostat to while I'm gone? Your intention might be to save money, but don’t be tempted to completely turn off your HVAC system. The furnace or air conditioner should still run a little to prevent excessive heat or cold, depending on the season. Here’s what you need to know about setting your thermostat when you leave on vacation.

Preparing the Thermostat for a Summer Vacation

If you’re traveling at the pinnacle of summer, you can expect the temperature inside your house to rise as it gets hotter outside each day. If you don't have air conditioning, the temperature could rapidly surpass 90 degrees inside—not happy news if you’re stressed about delicate items.

A good guideline is to adjust the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees warmer than you typically do throughout the day without exceeding 85 degrees. This is a good compromise between saving energy and protecting the interior of your home.

If you have a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat, don't forget that a “temporary” hold should return to your regular schedule at the next programmed time. So you should select the “permanent” or “vacation” hold setting when going on vacation to see to it that your chosen temperature sticks.

Preparing the Thermostat for a Winter Vacation

To decide the perfect thermostat setting when traveling in the winter, implement the same technique recommended above, but in the opposite direction—that is, set the temperature 5 to 10 degrees lower than you normally do over the course of the day without dropping under 60 degrees.

The most important reason to heat your home while you’re away is to avoid frozen pipes. Any plumbing that runs near exterior walls and through unheated spaces is at risk. Keeping the temperature at 60 degrees or higher limits this risk. Another wise idea is to leave the cupboard doors open to help warm air move around the pipes underneath your kitchen and bathroom sinks. You might also want to turn off the water at the main shut-off valve to prevent a plumbing emergency while you’re away on vacation.

Preparing a Smart Thermostat Before Leaving for Vacation

If you don’t already have a Wi-Fi or “smart” thermostat, this may 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 check on the temperature remotely using your tablet or smartphone. Find out how frequently the AC or furnace has been active in your absence as it sustains the temperature you set before you left. If you’re concerned with what you see, you can adjust the thermostat from anywhere via 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 shifts, such as a higher-than-expected temperature or increased moisture while you’re gone.

Other Vacation Recommendations

Keep these factors in mind to see to it that your home is good to go before departing on your trip:

  • Consider 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 visit, you may want to leave the temperature about normal—such as 80 degrees in the summer and 65 degrees in the winter—so the conditions are comfortable enough for them.
  • Shut any window treatments to help keep the hot sun or cold winter air outside of your home. This is also a privacy measure that stops prying eyes from taking a look inside while you’re absent.
  • Request HVAC maintenance before you go to make sure your system runs properly and is unlikely to experience any issues while you’re away.

Call Freschi Service Experts

Whether you have thermostat-related questions or are looking to arrange for HVAC maintenance before your tropical vacation, the HVAC professionals at Freschi Service Experts are here to support you. We can point you to a new thermostat for your needs and even install it and teach you how to use it. Our services cover all your HVAC requirements, from maintenance and repair to installation and replacement. Call us today to ask questions or set up a visit from one of our qualified heating and cooling technicians.

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