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

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

One typical question people ask is this: What should I adjust my thermostat to while I'm on vacation? Your goal may be to reduce costs, but you'll still want to avoid turning off your HVAC system. The furnace or AC system should still run a little to avoid excessive heat or cold, depending on the season. Here’s what you have to know about setting your thermostat when you leave for vacation.

Setting the Thermostat for a Summer Vacation

If you’re taking a trip at the pinnacle of summer, you can expect the temperature inside your house to increase as it gets warmer outside each day. If you don't have air conditioning, the temperature could rapidly top 90 degrees inside—not exciting news if you’re stressed about fragile belongings.

A good rule of thumb is to raise the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees higher than you usually do during the day without reaching above 85 degrees. This is the perfect compromise between reducing energy and protecting everything inside your home.

If you own a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat, keep in mind that a “temporary” hold is supposed to continue your typical schedule at the next programmed time. So you have to use the “permanent” or “vacation” hold setting when going on vacation to ensure your preferred temperature sticks.

Adjusting the Thermostat for a Winter Vacation

To identify the perfect thermostat setting when traveling in the winter, implement the same means suggested above, but backward—that is, set the temperature 5 to 10 degrees colder than you usually do throughout the day without dropping below 60 degrees.

The most significant reason to keep your home warm while you’re out of town is to prevent frozen pipes. Your plumbing that runs near exterior walls and in unconditioned spaces is at risk. Holding the temperature at 60 degrees or up decreases this risk. Another wise idea is to keep the cupboard doors open to help warm air move around the pipes beneath your kitchen and bathroom sinks. You will also want to turn off the water at the primary shut-off valve to protect against a plumbing crisis while you’re away on vacation.

Preparing a Smart Thermostat Before Taking a Vacation

If you don’t already use a Wi-Fi or “smart” thermostat, this can be an ideal time to upgrade. The latest innovations in thermostat technology provide excellent benefits, both while you’re at home and away.

For example, you can check in on the temperature remotely with your tablet or smartphone. Verify how regularly the AC or furnace has been active in your absence as it sustains the temperature you chose before you left. If you’re unhappy with what you find, you can adjust the thermostat from wherever using your internet-enabled device. You can even set a comfortable temperature that can resume when you’re under an hour away from home.

For even better peace of mind, Wi-Fi thermostats alert you of unforeseen environmental variations, such as a higher-than-expected temperature or excess moisture while you’re out of the house.

Additional Vacation Recommendations

Keep these factors in mind to see to it that your home is good to go before leaving on your trip:

  • Don't forget about any delicate paintings, electronics or houseplants that may be sensitive to extreme 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 about normal—such as 80 degrees in the summer and 65 degrees in the winter—so the home is comfortable enough for them.
  • Shut any window treatments to help keep the hot sun or cold winter air out of your home. This is also a privacy measure that stops prying eyes from taking a look inside while you’re gone.
  • Request HVAC maintenance before you go to make sure your system runs properly and is unlikely to suffer from any problems while you’re gone.

Call Komfort Air Service Experts

Whether you want to ask thermostat-related questions or are looking to arrange for HVAC maintenance before your tropical vacation, the HVAC pros at Komfort Air Service Experts are here to support you. We can suggest a new thermostat for your needs and even install it and show you how it works. Our services encompass all your HVAC needs, from maintenance and repair to installation and replacement. Contact us today to ask questions or schedule a visit from one of our qualified heating and cooling technicians.