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

If you’re planning to go on vacation, your mind might focus on packing your suitcase and making sure all travel arrangements are in place. But you’ll also want to prepare the house for your time away as well. 

One frequent question people ask is this: What should I my thermostat to while on vacation? Your goal will often be to save money, but don’t be tempted to completely turn off your HVAC system. The furnace or AC system still needs to run a little to prevent excessive heat or cold, depending on the season. Here’s what you should consider about setting your thermostat when you are gone on vacation. 

Setting the Thermostat for a Summer Vacation 

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

A good suggestion is to raise the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees higher than you normally do during the day without going over 85 degrees. This is a great compromise between conserving energy and protecting the interior of your home. 

If you have a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat, keep in mind that a “temporary” hold should return to your regular schedule at the next programmed time. So you should use the “permanent” or “vacation” hold setting when going out of town to see to it that your desired temperature sticks. 

Setting the Thermostat for a Winter Vacation 

To decide the best thermostat setting when traveling in the winter, follow the same method suggested above, but in the opposite direction—that is, change the temperature 5 to 10 degrees colder than you usually do throughout the day without falling lower than 60 degrees. 

The most important reason to keep your home warm while you’re away is to avoid frozen pipes. Your plumbing that runs near exterior walls and in unfinished spaces is the most at risk. Keeping the temperature at 60 degrees or up reduces this risk. Another good idea is to leave the cupboard doors open to help warm air flow around the pipes beneath your kitchen and bathroom sinks. You might also want to shut off the water at the main shut-off valve to avoid a plumbing emergency while you’re gone. 

Setting a Smart Thermostat Before Taking a Vacation 

If you don’t already own a Wi-Fi or “smart” thermostat, this could be a great time to upgrade. The latest advancements in thermostat technology feature excellent benefits, both while you’re at home and on vacation. 

As an example, you can check on the temperature remotely via your tablet or smartphone. Find 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 unhappy with what you find, you can change the thermostat from anywhere with your internet-enabled device. You can even set a comfortable temperature that can resume when you’re just about an hour away from home. 

For even greater peace of mind, Wi-Fi thermostats warn you of unexpected environmental shifts, such as a higher-than-expected temperature or excessive moisture while you’re out of the house. 

Other Vacation Recommendations 

Keep these components 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 could be vulnerable to hot or cold temperatures. 
  • If you’re leaving pets at home or have arranged to have a house sitter visit, you might want to leave the temperature about normal—such as 80 degrees in the summer and 65 degrees in the winter—so the environment is comfortable enough for them. 
  • Close any window treatments 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 stops prying eyes from looking inside while you’re absent. 
  • Schedule HVAC maintenance before you leave to ensure your system operates efficiently and is unlikely to experience any problems while you’re gone. 

Contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing 

Whether you need to address thermostat-related questions or are hoping to schedule HVAC maintenance before your tropical vacation, the HVAC professionals at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are here to help. We can suggest a new thermostat for your needs and even install it and show you how it works. Our services cover all your HVAC goals, from maintenance and repair to installation and replacement. Contact us today to ask questions or request a visit from one of our qualified heating and cooling technicians. 

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