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

If you’re preparing to go on vacation, your thoughts might focus on packing your suitcase and seeing to it that any travel arrangements are in order. But you'll also want to prepare the house for your departure as well.

One common question people share is this: What should I set my thermostat to while I'm on vacation? Your plan may be to reduce costs, but you'll still want to avoid turning off your HVAC system. The furnace or AC system needs to run a little to avoid excessive heat or cold, depending on the season. Here’s what you have to consider about setting your thermostat when you leave for 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 rise as it gets hotter and hotter outside each day. With no air conditioning at all, the temperature can easily top 90 degrees inside—not exciting news if you’re stressed about sensitive possessions.

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

If you have a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat, don't forget that a “temporary” hold should return to your typical schedule at the next programmed time. So you need to 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 determine the ideal thermostat setting when taking a trip in the winter, implement the same technique suggested above, but in the opposite direction—that is, set the temperature 5 to 10 degrees lower than you generally do over the course of the day without falling below 60 degrees.

The most significant reason to heat your home while you’re away is to minimize the risk of frozen pipes. Your plumbing that runs alongside exterior walls and inside unfinished spaces is exposed to freezing. Maintaining the temperature at 60 degrees or up limits this risk. Another great idea is to leave the cupboard doors open to help warm air move around the pipes underneath the kitchen and bathroom sinks. You might also want to shut off the water at the main shut-off valve to protect against a plumbing disaster while you’re away on vacation.

Adjusting a Smart Thermostat Before Leaving for Vacation

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

For instance, you can check on the temperature remotely using your tablet or smartphone. Find out how often the AC or furnace has been active in your absence as it sustains the temperature you decided on before you left. If you’re concerned with what you find, 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 close to an hour away from home.

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

More Vacation Recommendations

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

  • Consider any delicate paintings, electronics or houseplants that could be vulnerable to extreme 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 conditions are comfortable enough for them.
  • Close any window treatments to help keep the hot sun or cold winter air away from your home. This is also a privacy measure that stops prying eyes from looking inside while you’re away.
  • Request HVAC maintenance before you head out to make sure your system runs correctly and is unlikely to encounter any trouble while you’re away.

Call Peachtree Service Experts

Whether you have thermostat-related questions or are hoping to arrange for HVAC maintenance before your tropical vacation, the HVAC pros at Peachtree Service Experts are here to assist. We can point you to a new thermostat for your needs and even install it and teach you how it works. Our services encompass all your HVAC requirements, from maintenance and repair to installation and replacement. Get in touch with us today to raise questions or schedule a visit from one of our certified heating and cooling technicians.

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