What to Set Your Thermostat To When You are Away

Battling the heat during the summer can feel like a never-ending battle. With air conditioning, you have to choose between being cool and comfortable or paying high electricity bills. So when it’s time to go on summer vacation or go away for a long weekend, you may think you should turn off your AC while you’re away to save money. Unfortunately, doing so could lead to major issues, especially if you live in an area that experiences severe heat waves.

Why You Shouldn’t Turn Off Your AC While You’re Away
Turning off your AC while you’re away during the summer will lead to a number of problems. First, your home will be very hot when you return and you’ll need to ventilate it before you can turn on your AC. Not only will the air in your home be hot, but the structure of your home may have absorbed additional heat, making the process of cooling down the home take much longer and a lot more electricity from your AC.

Second, humidity can build up in warm environments. High humidity can result in mold and mildew growth and even structural damage.

Similarly to when you leave your home in the winter, you have to keep your thermostat on to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home.

The Best Summer Vacation Thermostat Setting
What to set your thermostat to while you're away in the summer depends on what temperature you usually set it when you’re home. The general rule is to set your thermostat five degrees higher when you’re on a shorter trip and up to ten degrees higher if you’re on a longer trip. For example, if you set your thermostat to 70 degrees when you’re home, keep it between 75 and 80 degrees when you’re away. Never set it above 80 degrees.

Winter Vacation Thermostat Setting
If you’re away during the winter, you’ll need to keep your heat going in order to prevent pipes from freezing. The same rule applies in the winter, keep it five to ten degrees below what you normally keep it at while you’re home in the winter. 68 is a common winter thermostat setting, so keeping the thermostat between 58 and 63 while you’re away will keep your home in good condition without letting your furnace waste too much energy.

Keep Cool With a Whole House Fan
When you return from summer vacation, your home is going to be warmer than it normally is. The fastest way to ventilate it and cool it down is to use a whole house fan. Whole house fans efficiently exhaust hot air out of the house and replace it with cooler outdoor air. This is ideal on cooler days or cool nights. Doing so will reduce the humidity in your home, exhaust polluted air, and cool down your home. Using a whole house fan is a great way to supplement your AC during hot summers.