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

If you’re getting ready to go on vacation, your thoughts might lean toward packing your suitcase and seeing to it that any 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 share is this: What will I need to set my thermostat to while on vacation? Your plan may be to conserve energy, but don’t be tempted to completely turn off your HVAC system. The furnace or air conditioner still needs to run a little to avoid extreme heat or cold, depending on the season. Here’s what you have to consider about setting your thermostat when you leave for vacation.

Setting 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 increase as it gets warmer outside each day. If you don't have air conditioning, the temperature may rapidly top 90 degrees inside—not happy news if you’re concerned about delicate possessions.

A good guideline is to increase the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees warmer than you typically do throughout the day without reaching above 85 degrees. This is a good compromise between conserving energy and protecting the interior of your home.

If you own a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat, remember that a “temporary” hold is supposed to continue your standard schedule at the next programmed time. So you need to select the “permanent” or “vacation” hold setting when going on vacation to make sure your preferred temperature sticks.

Setting the Thermostat for a Winter Vacation

To identify the ideal thermostat setting when traveling in the winter, implement the same method recommended above, but backward—that is, change the temperature 5 to 10 degrees colder than you generally do during the day without slipping below 60 degrees.

The most important reason to heat your home while you’re on vacation is to avoid frozen pipes. Any plumbing that runs near exterior walls and in unheated spaces is exposed to freezing. Holding the temperature at 60 degrees or up lowers this risk. Another good idea is to have the cupboard doors open to help warm air flow around the pipes beneath your kitchen and bathroom sinks. You may also want to turn off the water at the main shut-off valve to prevent a plumbing disaster while you’re away.

Setting a Smart Thermostat Before Leaving for Vacation

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

For example, you can check in on the temperature remotely via your tablet or smartphone. Figure out how frequently the AC or furnace has been active in your absence as it holds the temperature you decided on before you left. If you’re unsatisfied with what you find, you can control the thermostat from anyplace via your internet-enabled device. You can even set a comfortable temperature that can resume when you’re about an hour away from home.

For even better peace of mind, Wi-Fi thermostats alert you of unexpected environmental shifts, like a higher-than-expected temperature or increased moisture while you’re gone.

More Vacation Recommendations

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

  • Consider any delicate paintings, electronics or houseplants that can be sensitive to high or low temperatures.
  • If you’re leaving pets at home or have decided 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 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 good idea if you want privacy because it prevents prying eyes from looking inside while you’re away from home.
  • Request HVAC maintenance before you leave to make sure your system works correctly and is unlikely to experience any trouble while you’re out of town.

Get in Touch with Rob's Albertan Service Experts

Whether you want to ask thermostat-related questions or are looking to request HVAC maintenance before your upcoming vacation, the HVAC pros at Rob's Albertan Service Experts are here to assist. We can recommend a new thermostat for your needs and even install it and demonstrate how to make the most of its features. Our services encompass all your HVAC needs, from maintenance and repair to installation and replacement. Get in touch with us today to share questions or request a visit from one of our experienced heating and cooling technicians.

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