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

If you’re getting ready to leave for vacation, your feelings might lean toward packing your suitcase and making sure all your travel arrangements are in order. But you'll also want to prepare the house for you being gone as well.

One frequent question people ask is this: What will I need to set my thermostat to while I'm on vacation? Your intention may be to conserve energy, but try and avoid completely turning off your HVAC system. The furnace or AC system still needs to run a little to prevent extreme heat or cold, depending on the season. Here’s what you should consider about setting your thermostat when you leave on vacation.

Preparing the Thermostat for a Summer Vacation

If you’re traveling at the height of summer, you can expect the temperature inside your house to rise as it gets hotter outside each day. Without air conditioning, the temperature can quickly surpass 90 degrees inside—not good news if you’re stressed about delicate belongings.

A good suggestion is to adjust the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees warmer than you ordinarily do during the day without exceeding 85 degrees. This is a great compromise between reducing energy and protecting the interior of your home.

If you prefer a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat, remember that a “temporary” hold should return to your standard schedule at the next programmed time. So you have to try the “permanent” or “vacation” hold setting when going on vacation to see to it that your preferred temperature sticks.

Setting the Thermostat for a Winter Vacation

To decide the ideal thermostat setting when taking a trip in the winter, use the same method recommended above, but backward—that is, change the temperature 5 to 10 degrees cooler than you generally do during the day without falling under 60 degrees.

The most significant reason to continue heating your home while you’re on vacation is to avoid frozen pipes. Your plumbing that runs along exterior walls and inside unheated spaces is the most at risk. Keeping the temperature at 60 degrees or up decreases this risk. Another smart idea is to leave the cupboard doors open to help warm air flow around the pipes beneath the kitchen and bathroom sinks. You will also want to turn off the water at the primary shut-off valve to avoid a plumbing crisis while you’re away on vacation.

Preparing a Smart Thermostat Before Taking a Vacation

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

As an example, you can follow up on the temperature remotely via your tablet or smartphone. Verify how frequently the AC or furnace has been active in your absence as it maintains the temperature you chose before you left. If you’re concerned with what you see, you can change the thermostat from wherever via your internet-enabled device. You can even set a comfortable temperature to resume when you’re about an hour away from home.

For even better peace of mind, Wi-Fi thermostats alert you of unforeseen environmental variations, including a higher-than-expected temperature or increased moisture while you’re away from home.

Additional Vacation Recommendations

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

  • Remember any delicate paintings, electronics or houseplants that are vulnerable to high or low temperatures.
  • If you’re leaving pets at home or have planned to have a house sitter stop by, you may want to leave the temperature close to normal—such as 80 degrees in the summer and 65 degrees in the winter—so the environment is comfortable enough for them.
  • Close your blinds and drapes to help keep the hot sun or cold winter air out of your home. This is also a good idea if you want privacy because it keeps prying eyes from looking inside while you’re absent.
  • Schedule HVAC maintenance before you head out to ensure your system runs properly and is unlikely to encounter any issues while you’re gone.

Get in Touch with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning

Whether you need to address thermostat-related questions or are wanting to arrange for HVAC maintenance before your tropical vacation, the HVAC professionals at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are here to help. 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 needs, from maintenance and repair to installation and replacement. Contact us today to ask questions or request a visit from one of our qualified heating and cooling technicians.