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

If you’re preparing to take a vacation, your thoughts might go toward packing your suitcase and seeing to it that all your travel arrangements are ready to go. But you'll also want to prepare the house for you being gone as well.

One typical question people ask is this: What should I adjust my thermostat to while on vacation? Your intention might be to conserve energy, but don’t be tempted to completely turn off your HVAC system. The furnace or AC system still needs to run a little to prevent excessive heat or cold, depending on the season. Here’s what you should know about setting your thermostat when you are gone on vacation.

Preparing the Thermostat for a Summer Vacation

If you’re on vacation at the peak of summer, you can generally expect the temperature inside your house to rise as it gets hotter and hotter outside each day. If you don't have air conditioning, the temperature could easily top 90 degrees inside—not happy news if you’re concerned about delicate items.

A good rule of thumb is to increase the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees warmer than you normally do during the day without reaching above 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 continue your typical schedule at the next programmed time. So you should use the “permanent” or “vacation” hold setting when going out of town to make sure your desired temperature sticks.

Setting the Thermostat for a Winter Vacation

To figure out the perfect thermostat setting when taking a trip in the winter, implement the same means proposed above, but backward—that is, change the temperature 5 to 10 degrees colder than you normally do throughout the day without slipping below 60 degrees.

The most significant reason to keep your home warm while you’re on vacation is to minimize the risk of frozen pipes. The plumbing that runs along exterior walls and in unheated spaces is exposed to freezing. Keeping the temperature at 60 degrees or higher reduces this risk. Another smart idea is to have the cupboard doors open to help warm air move around the pipes under your kitchen and bathroom sinks. You will also want to turn off the water at the main shut-off valve to avoid a plumbing disaster while you’re away on vacation.

Setting a Smart Thermostat Before Going on Vacation

If you don’t already use a Wi-Fi or “smart” thermostat, this may be an ideal time to upgrade. The latest enhancements in thermostat technology offer outstanding benefits, both while you’re at home and on a trip.

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

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

More Vacation Recommendations

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

  • Don't forget about any delicate paintings, electronics or houseplants that could be susceptible to high or low temperatures.
  • If you’re leaving pets at home or have arranged to have a house sitter visit, you might 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 your blinds and drapes to help keep the hot sun or cold winter air away from your home. This is also a privacy measure that keeps prying eyes from taking a look inside while you’re away.
  • Request HVAC maintenance before you head out to make sure your system operates correctly and is unlikely to experience any issues while you’re away.

Get in Touch with Winnipeg Supply Service Experts

Whether you need to address thermostat-related questions or are hoping to arrange for HVAC maintenance before your next vacation, the HVAC experts at Winnipeg Supply Service Experts are here to assist. We can point you to a new thermostat for your needs and even install it and show you how to use it. Our services cover all your HVAC needs, from maintenance and repair to installation and replacement. Call us today to raise questions or schedule a visit from one of our experienced heating and cooling technicians.

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