Setting Up Your Thermostat Before You Leave For Vacation

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There are always a million things to remember when you’re about to go on vacation, and not all of them have to do with your destination. There are also some things you need to do to prepare your home for an extended absence, so that you don’t come back to find a mini-disaster to ruin the good feeling of vacation you enjoyed very much.

One of the things you should definitely have on your list is to give your HVAC system a break while you’re away, whether that’s in the wintertime or in the summer. By turning your thermostat a few degrees higher in summer, you’ll save a lot on your heating bill, and there’s no reason to have perfectly conditioned air while you’re gone anyway. The same is true of a winter vacation, so you can allow the furnace to take it easy, and heat your home to a somewhat lesser temperature while you’re gone. This will gain for you the same kind of savings that a summertime reduction would.

Ideal Vacation Temperatures

So what exactly is the right temperature setting for your home while you’re on vacation? HVAC experts recommend that you add 4° to the normal household temperature which you maintain in summer, which means that if you normally cool your house to 71° in the summer time, you should set it at 75 when you’re away. Living in the area around Scottsdale, Gilbert, Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, or Gilbert will certainly require your air conditioner to be left on while you’re gone, but try to keep it higher than if you were home.

Resist the temptation to set it even higher, because beyond 4° higher gets to be counter-productive, and you may have to make your HVAC unit work extra hard to cool the house down again when you return. If that happens, not only would you be fairly uncomfortable while you’re trying to restore a cool temperature, but any savings you realized through a higher setting while you were gone, will now be negated by the extra work in restoring a livable temperature. There’s another danger as well. If you allow the house to become too hot and humid, it could promote the growth of mold and mildew, even if you’re only gone a week. Keep it at the sweet spot of 4° higher, and you’ll have the ideal setting.

The 4° principle holds true for your furnace as well, so when you take a wintertime vacation, the ideal setting is 4° lower than normal, which means your normal 71° should be set at 67° for vacation time. There is one exception to this rule though. A gas furnace does not require as much work to heat your home, so it won’t have to do double-time to warm up your house when you return.

That means it’s safe for you to set the temperature to 63° or 64° while you’re gone, and your gas furnace won’t be taxed too badly when you return and need the house warmed up. You might be a tad chilly while you’re waiting for a comfortable temperature to be reached, but there won’t be any strain on your gas furnace, and you won’t incur higher energy bills. If you experience any issues with your air conditioning upon your return, don’t hesitate to contact the cooling experts at Bruce’s Air Conditioning and Heating for fast and reliable service.