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

If you’re preparing to leave for vacation, your feelings might focus on packing your suitcase and ensuring all travel arrangements are in place. But remember to prepare the house for your time away as well. 

One typical question people ask is this: What can I my thermostat to while on vacation? Your intention may be to conserve energy, but don’t be tempted to completely turn off your HVAC system. The furnace or air conditioner should still run a little to minimize severe heat or cold, depending on the season. Here’s what you have to 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 should expect the temperature inside your house to rise as it gets hotter and hotter outside each day. If you don’t have air conditioning, the temperature may rapidly exceed 90 degrees inside—not good news if you’re stressed about fragile items. 

A good rule of thumb is to increase the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees higher than you typically do throughout the day without going over 85 degrees. This is a good compromise between conserving energy and protecting the interior of your home. 

If you own a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat, don’t forget that a “temporary” hold is supposed to return to your regular schedule at the next programmed time. So you should try the “permanent” or “vacation” hold setting when you’re on vacation to see to it that your preferred temperature sticks. 

Adjusting the Thermostat for a Winter Vacation 

To determine the best thermostat setting when taking a trip in the winter, follow the same means suggested above, but in the opposite direction—that is, change the temperature 5 to 10 degrees colder than you normally do over the course of the day without slipping under 60 degrees. 

The most important reason to heat your home while you’re on vacation is to prevent frozen pipes. The plumbing that runs alongside exterior walls and in unfinished spaces is at risk. Maintaining the temperature at 60 degrees or higher reduces this risk. Another great idea is to leave the cupboard doors open to help warm air flow around the pipes underneath the kitchen and bathroom sinks. You will also want to turn off the water at the central shut-off valve to avoid a plumbing emergency while you’re away. 

Adjusting a Smart Thermostat Before Going on Vacation 

If you don’t already have a Wi-Fi or “smart” thermostat, this may be a great time to upgrade. The latest innovations in thermostat technology offer excellent benefits, both while you’re at home and away. 

For instance, you can check on the temperature remotely with your tablet or smartphone. Figure out how regularly the AC or furnace has been running in your absence as it sustains the temperature you decided on before you left. If you’re unsatisfied with what you discover, you can change the thermostat from wherever with your internet-enabled device. You can even set a comfortable temperature that will resume when you’re close to an hour away from home. 

For even better peace of mind, Wi-Fi thermostats notify you of unexpected environmental variations, like a higher-than-expected temperature or excessive moisture while you’re away from home. 

Additional Vacation Recommendations 

Keep these factors in mind to make sure your home is good to go before leaving on your trip: 

  • Consider any delicate paintings, electronics or houseplants that could be vulnerable to high or low temperatures. 
  • If you’re leaving pets at home or have planned to have a house sitter visit, you will 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 the blinds and curtains to help keep the hot sun or cold winter air out of your home. This also helps with privacy since it stops prying eyes from peering inside while you’re absent. 
  • Request HVAC maintenance before you go to ensure your system runs correctly and is unlikely to encounter any problems while you’re gone. 

Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing 

Whether you have thermostat-related questions or are looking to arrange for HVAC maintenance before your tropical vacation, the HVAC professionals at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are here to help. We can recommend a new thermostat for your needs and even install it and demonstrate how it works. Our services encompass all your HVAC preferences, from maintenance and repair to installation and replacement. Get in touch with us today to share questions or request a visit from one of our experienced heating and cooling technicians. 

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