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

If you’re planning to take a vacation, your feelings might lean toward packing your suitcase and making sure all travel arrangements are in place. But don’t forget to prepare the house for your departure as well. 

One common question people ask is this: What adjust my thermostat to while I’m gone? Your intention will often be to save money, but try and avoid completely turning off your HVAC system. The furnace or AC system still needs to run a little to avoid extreme heat or cold, depending on the season. Here’s what you need to consider about setting your thermostat when you are gone on vacation. 

Adjusting 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 go up as it gets hotter outside each day. With no air conditioning at all, the temperature can easily exceed 90 degrees inside—not happy news if you’re worried about fragile belongings. 

A good rule of thumb is to increase the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees higher than you usually do throughout the day without exceeding 85 degrees. This is a good compromise between saving energy and protecting your home’s interior. 

If you own a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat, keep in mind that a “temporary” hold is supposed to resume your regular schedule at the next programmed time. So you should use the “permanent” or “vacation” hold setting when you’re on vacation 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 means proposed above, but in reverse—that is, adjust’ the temperature 5 to 10 degrees colder than you normally do throughout the day without slipping lower than 60 degrees. 

The most significant reason to heat your home while you’re out of town is to minimize the risk of frozen pipes. Your plumbing that runs against exterior walls and through unfinished spaces is the most at risk. Holding the temperature at 60 degrees or higher decreases this risk. Another smart idea is to have the cupboard doors open to help warm air flow around the pipes beneath the kitchen and bathroom sinks. You will also want to shut off the water at the primary shut-off valve to protect against a plumbing disaster while you’re away on vacation. 

Preparing a Smart Thermostat Before Going on Vacation 

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

For instance, you can check on the temperature remotely via your tablet or smartphone. Find out how often the AC or furnace has been active in your absence as it holds the temperature you set before you left. If you’re not happy with what you see, you can control the thermostat from anywhere 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 greater peace of mind, Wi-Fi thermostats notify you of unforeseen environmental changes, including a higher-than-expected temperature or increased moisture while you’re gone. 

More Vacation Recommendations 

Keep these things 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 vulnerable 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 close to normal—such as 80 degrees in the summer and 65 degrees in the winter—so the conditions are comfortable enough for them. 
  • Close the blinds and curtains to help keep the hot sun or cold winter air away from your home. This also helps with privacy since it keeps prying eyes from peering inside while you’re away. 
  • Arrange for HVAC maintenance before you head out to make sure your system operates efficiently and is unlikely to suffer from any problems while you’re away. 

Call Stevenson Service Experts 

Whether you want to ask thermostat-related questions or are looking to schedule HVAC maintenance before your tropical vacation, the HVAC pros at Stevenson Service Experts are here to help. We can point you to a new thermostat for your needs and even install it and demonstrate how to make the most of its features. Our services encompass all your HVAC requirements, from maintenance and repair to installation and replacement. Get in touch with us today to share questions or schedule a visit from one of our qualified heating and cooling technicians. 

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