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

If you’re getting ready to take a vacation, your thoughts might focus on packing your suitcase and seeing to it that all travel arrangements are in order. But you'll also want to prepare the house for your time away as well.

One common question people share is this: What will I need to adjust my thermostat to while I'm on vacation? Your plan might be to reduce costs, but you'll still want to avoid turning off your HVAC system. The furnace or AC unit 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.

Adjusting the Thermostat for a Summer Vacation

If you’re on vacation at the peak of summer, you should expect the temperature inside your house to increase as it gets hotter and hotter outside each day. If you don't have air conditioning, the temperature could easily top 90 degrees inside—not good news if you’re worried about sensitive belongings.

A good suggestion is to adjust the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees warmer than you typically do over the course of the day without going over 85 degrees. This is an ideal compromise between reducing energy and protecting everything inside your home.

If you prefer a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat, don't forget that a “temporary” hold should resume your standard schedule at the next programmed time. So you have to try the “permanent” or “vacation” hold setting when going on vacation to make sure your desired temperature sticks.

Adjusting the Thermostat for a Winter Vacation

To figure out the ideal thermostat setting when on vacation in the winter, follow the same method suggested above, but in reverse—that is, set the temperature 5 to 10 degrees cooler than you generally do over the course of the day without dropping under 60 degrees.

The most significant reason to continue heating your home while you’re away is to avoid frozen pipes. The plumbing that runs alongside exterior walls and through unfinished spaces is exposed to freezing. Holding the temperature at 60 degrees or higher reduces this risk. Another wise idea is to keep the cupboard doors open to help warm air move around the pipes under your kitchen and bathroom sinks. You might also want to turn off the water at the central shut-off valve to avoid a plumbing crisis while you’re away on vacation.

Preparing a Smart Thermostat Before Leaving for Vacation

If you don’t already use a Wi-Fi or “smart” thermostat, this may be an ideal time to upgrade. The latest improvements in thermostat technologies feature fantastic benefits, both while you’re at home and on a trip.

For instance, you can check in on the temperature remotely using your tablet or smartphone. Determine how regularly the AC or furnace has been turning on in your absence as it holds the temperature you set before you left. If you’re unhappy with what you discover, you can control 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 more peace of mind, Wi-Fi thermostats notify you of unforeseen environmental changes, including a higher-than-expected temperature or excessive moisture while you’re gone.

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 are susceptible to extreme temperatures.
  • If you’re leaving pets at home or have planned to have a house sitter stop by, you might want to leave the temperature closer to normal—such as 80 degrees in the summer and 65 degrees in the winter—so the conditions are 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 privacy measure that prevents prying eyes from looking inside while you’re away.
  • Schedule HVAC maintenance before you head out to ensure your system operates properly and is unlikely to suffer from any problems while you’re gone.

Contact Peitz Service Experts

Whether you want to ask thermostat-related questions or are wanting to arrange for HVAC maintenance before your upcoming vacation, the HVAC experts at Peitz Service Experts are here to assist. We can recommend a new thermostat for your needs and even install it and teach you how to make the most of its features. Our services encompass all your HVAC preferences, from maintenance and repair to installation and replacement. Get in touch with us today to raise questions or set up a visit from one of our certified heating and cooling technicians.

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