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

If you’re planning to leave for vacation, your feelings might focus on packing your suitcase and ensuring any travel arrangements are in place. But don’t forget to prepare the house for your departure as well. 

One frequent question people have is this: What can I my thermostat to while on vacation? Your plan will often be to conserve energy, but you’ll still want to avoid turning off your HVAC system. The furnace or AC unit should still run a little to avoid severe heat or cold, depending on the season. Here’s what you have to consider about setting your thermostat when you leave for vacation. 

Setting the Thermostat for a Summer Vacation 

If you’re on vacation at the height of summer, you can expect the temperature inside your house to go up as it gets hotter and hotter outside each day. Without air conditioning, the temperature could easily exceed 90 degrees inside—not exciting news if you’re stressed about sensitive possessions. 

A good rule of thumb is to adjust the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees higher than you typically do over the course of the day without reaching above 85 degrees. This is the perfect compromise between conserving energy and protecting the interior of your home. 

If you own a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat, keep in mind that a “temporary” hold should resume your regular schedule at the next programmed time. So you need to select the “permanent” or “vacation” hold setting when going out of town to ensure your chosen temperature sticks. 

Adjusting the Thermostat for a Winter Vacation 

To decide the perfect thermostat setting when traveling in the winter, use the same technique proposed above, but in the opposite direction—that is, adjust’ the temperature 5 to 10 degrees colder than you generally do during the day without dropping under 60 degrees. 

The biggest reason to heat your home while you’re out of town is to prevent frozen pipes. The plumbing that runs alongside exterior walls and through unconditioned spaces is the most at risk. Maintaining the temperature at 60 degrees or higher decreases this risk. Another great idea is to leave the cupboard doors open to help warm air circulate around the pipes underneath the kitchen and bathroom sinks. You may also want to shut off the water at the main shut-off valve to protect against a plumbing disaster while you’re away. 

Setting a Smart Thermostat Before Taking a Vacation 

If you don’t already own a Wi-Fi or “smart” thermostat, this may be a wonderful time to upgrade. The latest upgrades in thermostat systems provide outstanding benefits, both while you’re at home and on vacation. 

For example, you can check on the temperature remotely via your tablet or smartphone. Find out how frequently the AC or furnace has been active in your absence as it holds the temperature you set before you left. If you’re unsatisfied with what you discover, you can adjust the thermostat from wherever via your internet-enabled device. You can even set a comfortable temperature that can resume when you’re about an hour away from home. 

For even better peace of mind, Wi-Fi thermostats notify you of sudden environmental shifts, like a higher-than-expected temperature or excessive moisture while you’re out of the house. 

Additional Vacation Recommendations 

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

  • Remember any delicate paintings, electronics or houseplants that can be sensitive to hot or cold temperatures. 
  • If you’re leaving pets at home or have arranged to have a house sitter stop by, you will want to leave the temperature closer to normal—such as 80 degrees in the summer and 65 degrees in the winter—so the environment is comfortable enough for them. 
  • Shut the blinds and curtains to help keep the hot sun or cold winter air out of your home. This is also a good idea if you want privacy because it keeps prying eyes from peering inside while you’re gone. 
  • Request HVAC maintenance before you head out to ensure your system works correctly and is unlikely to suffer from any issues while you’re gone. 

Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing 

Whether you need to address thermostat-related questions or are hoping to arrange for HVAC maintenance before your upcoming vacation, the HVAC pros at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are here to support you. We can recommend 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. 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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