If you’re planning on taking a long weekend trip or extended vacation, it’s important to remember to adjust your thermostat. By turning the thermostat up a few degrees, you can save some money on your next bill. Ideally, an adjustment of four degrees from your normal temperature is a sufficient difference.
Before you leave on your summer vacation, add four degrees to your normal thermostat settings. If you are normally comfortable with a 72 degree setting, bump it up to 76 degrees. But don’t turn it off completely or set it too high. A sharp change in humidity or heat can damage the structure of your home through mildew, warped sheetrock or worse.
Besides, if you set it too much higher, it could make the house harder to cool when you return. The savings you earned while away will be wasted by the energy it will take to cool back down.
Before your next winter vacation, do the same…only in the opposite direction. When you’re headed out for a winter trip, set the temperature slightly lower than would be comfortable. Four degrees is a good measure of adjustment – so if you normally leave your thermostat at 69, lower it to 65. Again, adjusting it too far could cause damage to the home.
Whatever you do, don’t shut the system down when you leave. Your heat pump will have to work twice as hard to warm up when you return. If you have a gas furnace, an adjustment of six to eight degrees is acceptable. The energy savings from adjusting your thermostat while away on vacation will make a difference in your next bill. You could save even more money when you replace your thermostat.
New thermostats allow you to change your temperature while away with apps. That way, if there’s a heat wave while you’re gone, you won’t have to worry about your home. Plus, you can adjust the temperature before you return so you come in to a perfectly comfortable home – not too hot, not too cold!
Other models without the apps offer programming in advance so you can plan ahead for your return.
Even without an app, many programmable thermostats have hold settings or day and time selections that will allow you to begin the cooling process again a few hours before you return.