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

If you’re getting ready to leave for vacation, your mind might focus on packing your suitcase and making sure any travel arrangements are in place. But don’t forget to prepare the house for your time away as well. 

One common question people ask is this: What will I need to]] set my thermostat to while on vacation? Your plan might be to reduce costs, but don’t be tempted to completely turn off your HVAC system. The furnace or AC system should still run a little to prevent extreme heat or cold, depending on the season. Here’s what you should know about setting your thermostat when you leave for vacation. 

Setting the Thermostat for a Summer Vacation 

If you’re traveling at the height of summer, you can generally expect the temperature inside your house to go up as it gets warmer outside each day. With no air conditioning at all, the temperature may quickly exceed 90 degrees inside—not happy news if you’re concerned about sensitive items. 

A good guideline is to adjust the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees warmer than you normally do during the day without going over 85 degrees. This is the perfect compromise between saving energy and protecting the interior of your home. 

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

Setting the Thermostat for a Winter Vacation 

To identify the best thermostat setting when taking a trip in the winter, implement the same means suggested above, but backward—that is, adjust’ the temperature 5 to 10 degrees lower than you generally do over the course of the day without dropping below 60 degrees. 

The most significant reason to heat your home while you’re out of town is to minimize the risk of frozen pipes. Any plumbing that runs against exterior walls and through unfinished spaces is at risk. Maintaining the temperature at 60 degrees or warmer lowers this risk. Another smart idea is to keep the cupboard doors open to help warm air flow around the pipes underneath your kitchen and bathroom sinks. You will also want to shut off the water at the main shut-off valve to avoid a plumbing emergency while you’re away. 

Preparing a Smart Thermostat Before Leaving for Vacation 

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

For example, you can check in on the temperature remotely using your tablet or smartphone. Verify how regularly 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 discover, you can adjust the thermostat from wherever using your internet-enabled device. You can even set a comfortable temperature to resume when you’re under an hour away from home. 

For even better peace of mind, Wi-Fi thermostats alert you of unexpected environmental changes, including a higher-than-expected temperature or excessive moisture while you’re out of the house. 

More Vacation Recommendations 

Keep these things in mind to ensure your home is good to go before departing on your trip: 

  • Consider any delicate paintings, electronics or houseplants that can be sensitive to extreme temperatures. 
  • If you’re leaving pets at home or have decided to have a house sitter visit, 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 home is comfortable enough for them. 
  • Close the blinds and curtains to help keep the hot sun or cold winter air outside of your home. This also helps with privacy since it prevents prying eyes from peering inside while you’re absent. 
  • Schedule HVAC maintenance before you go to make sure your system operates properly and is unlikely to experience any issues while you’re out of town. 

Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing 

Whether you need to address thermostat-related questions or are looking to arrange for HVAC maintenance before your tropical vacation, the HVAC pros at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are here to assist. We can suggest a new thermostat for your needs and even install it and teach you how to use it. Our services cover all your HVAC preferences, from maintenance and repair to installation and replacement. Get in touch with us today to ask questions or schedule a visit from one of our certified heating and cooling technicians. 

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