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

If you’re planning to go on vacation, your feelings 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 time away as well.

One common question people ask is this: What can I set my thermostat to while I'm gone? Your plan will often be to conserve energy, but don’t be tempted to completely turn off your HVAC system. The furnace or AC system should still run a little to minimize excessive heat or cold, depending on the season. Here’s what you should consider about setting your thermostat when you are gone on vacation.

Preparing the Thermostat for a Summer Vacation

If you’re taking a trip at the height of summer, you can generally expect the temperature inside your house to go up as it gets hotter outside each day. With no air conditioning at all, the temperature could easily surpass 90 degrees inside—not good news if you’re concerned about delicate belongings.

A good guideline is to adjust the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees warmer than you ordinarily do during the day without going over 85 degrees. This is the perfect compromise between reducing energy and protecting your home’s interior.

If you prefer a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat, remember that a “temporary” hold should continue your standard schedule at the next programmed time. So you should use the “permanent” or “vacation” hold setting when going out of town to make sure your preferred temperature sticks.

Preparing the Thermostat for a Winter Vacation

To decide the perfect thermostat setting when taking a trip in the winter, implement the same method proposed above, but backward—that is, set the temperature 5 to 10 degrees colder than you normally do throughout the day without slipping under 60 degrees.

The most important reason to heat your home while you’re out of town is to avoid frozen pipes. Any plumbing that runs near exterior walls and in unheated spaces is the most at risk. Keeping the temperature at 60 degrees or warmer reduces this risk. Another good idea is to keep the cupboard doors open to help warm air move around the pipes beneath your kitchen and bathroom sinks. You will also want to shut off the water at the primary shut-off valve to avoid a plumbing crisis while you’re away.

Setting 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 improvements in thermostat technology provide fantastic benefits, both while you’re at home and on a trip.

As an example, 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 maintains the temperature you set before you left. If you’re concerned with what you find, you can change the thermostat from anyplace using your internet-enabled device. You can even set a comfortable temperature that will resume when you’re under an hour away from home.

For even more peace of mind, Wi-Fi thermostats notify you of unexpected environmental variations, including a higher-than-expected temperature or excess moisture while you’re gone.

More Vacation Recommendations

Keep these things in mind to ensure your home is good to go before departing on your trip:

  • Remember any delicate paintings, electronics or houseplants that could be vulnerable 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 about normal—such as 80 degrees in the summer and 65 degrees in the winter—so the home is comfortable enough for them.
  • Shut the blinds and curtains to help keep the hot sun or cold winter air outside of your home. This is also a good idea if you want privacy because it prevents prying eyes from peering inside while you’re away from home.
  • Arrange for HVAC maintenance before you go to ensure your system operates efficiently and is unlikely to encounter any trouble while you’re away.

Get in Touch with Atmostemp Service Experts

Whether you want to ask thermostat-related questions or are wanting to arrange for HVAC maintenance before your next vacation, the HVAC experts at Atmostemp Service Experts are here to help. We can suggest a new thermostat for your needs and even install it and teach you how it works. Our services cover all your HVAC requirements, from maintenance and repair to installation and replacement. Get in touch with us today to share questions or set up a visit from one of our experienced heating and cooling technicians.

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