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Should You Set Your Thermostat Higher While on Vacation?

It’s pointless to heat or cool your home while you’re on vacation, right? For decades, homeowners have followed the sage advice of setting the thermostat higher in the summer or lower in the winter when they’re traveling. While this can save you some money while you’re gone, there are other factors you need to consider to find the magic number for your thermostat. Let’s explore this in more detail.

4 Things to Consider When Adjusting Your Thermostat for Vacation

When adjusting your thermostat for vacation, you might also consider the following factors to find the “sweet spot” for home climate:

1. Your Pets and Houseplants

If pets or houseplants will remain in the home while you’re gone, consider what temperature will help them stay comfortable. For pets, you might consult with your veterinarian for the ideal temperature.

2. How Long You’ll Be Gone

If you’re going to be gone for a week or more, the cost savings could be significant if you choose more extreme temperatures. For overnight-only or short trips, you might stay closer to your home’s typical temperature, as this will take less time for your home to return to normal.

3. The Current Weather

Your thermostat helps to protect your home while traveling, especially in extreme heat or cold. For example, a well-heated home can help prevent pipes from freezing and busting during the winter. Consider the time of year and expected temperatures during your travels and adjust your thermostat accordingly.

4. How Long It Takes to Return to Normal

Your home will need time to return to normal once you arrive. The farther away your thermostat is from its typical temperature, the longer it will take to catch up. For mild weather, like early fall or mid-spring, this isn’t much of a concern. But if you’re arriving at a hot, stuffy home late at night, it may take an hour or more before your home feels comfortable enough for sleeping.

A Better Approach: Install a Smart Thermostat

One way to reap energy savings without sacrificing your comfort is to install a smart thermostat. These thermostats allow you to control the temperature remotely and program shifts in temperature. This way, your home can start returning to normal while you’re in route, allowing you to walk into a fresh-feeling home the moment you arrive.

Learn more about installing a smart thermostat in your home by speaking to one of our HVAC technicians.

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