(Not) Home for the Holidays: How to Set Your HVAC During Vacation

 In Fall Topics, Staying Warm, System Maintenance, Winter Topics

The bags are packed, gifts are wrapped and it’s time to depart for holiday vacation. Did you remember to set your thermostat? Many people wonder if there’s a certain recommended temperature when leaving your home for longer periods of time. Setting your system at an appropriate temperature can certainly help you save money on electric bills, but there are also safety considerations to think through before you leave home for the holidays. Here is everything you need to know about how to set your HVAC during vacation.

Plan Ahead

One of the best things you can do for your HVAC during vacation is to plan ahead. It’s a smart idea to schedule a tune-up before your holiday travel. Many people opt to do this in the cooler fall months, but you can schedule one during any time of year. Having an HVAC technician check out your system can help identify any issues that might arise while you’re gone – issues that could potentially be costly if you don’t catch them right away.

It can be hard to remember to schedule these important appointments, which is why many homeowners choose to sign up for a program such as Barineau Heating and Air Conditioning’s Total Comfort Service Program. These programs allow you to receive discounts and other perks while making sure the annual appointment doesn’t drop off your radar.

Scope It Out

In addition to having the experts check it out, there are things you can do as a homeowner to look out for your HVAC during vacation. Go outside and take a look around your unit before you depart. Are there any trees, bushes or other debris crowding your HVAC unit? There should be at least a foot of clearance all the way around. The same goes for something like a garden rake leaning against it or a trash bin placed too close by. It’s a good idea to check this out and remove anything that shouldn’t be there.

The same goes for checking on your system inside the house. Some people believe it’s better to close vents in rooms that are not being used, particularly during vacation. This can end up costing you more money in the long run, however. You should actually make sure all of the vents in your home are open before you leave for vacation. That’s because rooms with closed vents will become colder, and your HVAC unit will then need to work harder to warm them up. Check that all your vents are open to help your HVAC run efficiently while you’re away.

Set Your Thermostat

Many people struggle with finding the right temperature for setting an HVAC during vacation. There are a number of factors to consider. Will you have someone coming inside while you’re gone? Will pets be staying behind with a sitter? If you’re going on a holiday vacation, chances are, it’s cool (if not downright cold) outside. A good rule of thumb is to leave your thermostat set at around 65 degrees.

If you do have pets staying behind with a sitter, be sure to set the thermostat comfortably for them. Leave instructions, or even send a quick text, to ensure your sitter knows how to work the thermostat and adjust it as needed. Even if your home will be completely empty with no pets at home, you shouldn’t leave your home at any temperature below 50 degrees.

Get Smart

If you have a smart thermostat, it can be a helpful tool for managing your HVAC during vacation. Because it can be controlled remotely from your phone, you may have the option of getting your home ready for your arrival at the end of the trip. Simply adjust the temperature on your phone while you are on your way home from vacation, perhaps a few hours before you are scheduled to arrive. That will ensure your home is toasty and comfortable for your homecoming without wasting extra energy.

If you don’t have a smart thermostat, the holiday season is a great time to consider making the upgrade. These smart devices are an investment as they can help you save money on your energy bills in the long run.

Whether you’re scheduling a tune-up or considering thermostat options, Barineau Heating and Air Conditioning is your home comfort expert. Give us a call today at 850.580.4029 or visit our website to schedule an appointment for the holiday season.

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