I’m going on vacation, what should I set my thermostat to?

I’m going on vacation, what should I set my thermostat to

When we think of vacations, we lean towards thoughts of relaxation and ocean waves. We often leave out the part right beforehand when we’re running around like mad people packing and getting our home prepped for time spent away.

One question that will often pop in our minds is: what should I set my thermostat to when I'm going on vacation? Here we dig into thermostat settings, so you return to a comfortable home and lower energy bill.

Summer vacations

You can, of course, turn your AC unit off when you leave for vacation, but be prepared to come home to an atmosphere that's muggy and hot. Some people feel that this gives the unit a solid break, and they'll save money on their energy bill.

However, as soon as you get home and try to get the temperature to lower from 95 to 74, you’ll lose a good deal of those savings because your unit will have to work non-stop to get there. Depending on how long you're gone, you can damage internal structures of the house due to excessive humidity.

The best rule of thumb is to raise the temperature about 5 degrees from what you primarily keep it at. So if you set it at 74 degrees when you’re home, then set it to 79 or 80 when you go out of town.

Also, pay attention to weather predictions while you’re gone because you’ll want to ensure that you don’t set your thermostat more than 20 degrees higher than the temperature outside. If the week you leave is forecasted to have temperatures as high as 100 degrees, your best bet is to set your thermostat between 80 and 85.

Winter vacations

If you’re going away during the winter, you can use the same method as above and subtract around 5 degrees from your desired temperature when you’re home. You can go a little lower in the cold weather if you want, but be mindful because it’s never fun to come home to frozen pipes. Plus, you don’t want to exhaust your heater trying to warm your space up when you return from the trip.

Other factors to consider

Factor in pets and houseguests to ensure that they are in a comfortable environment. Also, think about any temperature sensitive items that you own such as paintings or electronics that may require a cooler or warmer atmosphere to protect their integrity.

And don’t forget to utilize the latest advancements in thermostats! Many will allow you to adjust the temperatures remotely from a smartphone so that you can turn off your unit at night when it’s cooler and then readjust the numbers the next morning. You can also get the internal temperature of your home ready for your return, so you don’t skip a beat when you walk through the door.

When in doubt, ask the experts at SSI. And don't hesitate to find out about upgrading your thermostat to be more travel-friendly version. Not only will you see savings when you're on vacation, but you'll have more control every time you step out the front door. 

Before your next vacation, request a service call from SSI to ensure your HVAC unit is ready to handle your time away. Simply call 703-991-0909 and we’ll schedule an appointment to see you quickly and conveniently!

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