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Serving the greater Orlando area

24 hr Emergency Service


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What Should I Set My Thermostat to When I’m on Vacation?

Changing your thermostat settings before leaving the house is a simple and effective way to save energy, reduce your utility bills, and enjoy an eco-friendly living environment without sacrificing having a comfortable home. Doing so will have several important benefits.

Photo of a Thermostat

The Benefits of Lowering Your Air Conditioner Before Leaving an Empty House

#1 Energy Savings

It costs a lot of energy, and money, to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. When you leave, though, you can adjust the thermostat setting to be a bit warmer or colder than you normally like to keep it. Adjusting your thermostat to a lower temperature (in the winter) or a higher temperature (in the summer) from your normal setting when you’re not at home delivers energy savings. 

This means you save money on your monthly utility bills. This is something all Florida homeowners can appreciate, since there’s very little we can do to cut air conditioning costs when it’s scorching outside! 

#2 Environmental Impact

Reducing the amount of energy your HVAC system consumes results in lower energy costs, but there’s more to it than that. You aren’t the only one who benefits! By using less energy to heat or cool your home when it’s unoccupied, you reduce your carbon footprint and help mitigate the environmental impact associated with energy consumption.

#3 HVAC Efficiency

Spending money on an empty home is more than just expensive, it also makes your HVAC work hard for no reason. If you set your thermostat to a less comfortable temperature before your next vacation, it reduces the wear and tear on your HVAC system. This potentially extends its lifespan and reduces maintenance costs, meaning many homeowners save money in the long run.

#4 Safety

In the winter, lowering the temperature when you leave can also reduce the risk of fire hazards associated with heating appliances. It’s especially important to make sure space heaters are turned off or unplugged when you’re not at home.

#5 Ease of Use With a Remote Control

Many modern, smart thermostats are programmable or can be controlled remotely through smartphone apps. This allows you to set specific schedules for temperature adjustments, ensuring your home is comfortable when you return and saving energy while you’re away.

Next time you leave for an extended period, adjust your thermostat. You can tailor your thermostat settings to the fact that it doesn’t need to be heating or cooling the way it normally does. Adjusting the temperature to your preferred temperature makes your home more energy-efficient, less costly, and safer while you’re off your daily routine.

What Should I Set My Thermostat to When I’m Not Home?

Now that we’ve discussed why you should adjust a programmable thermostat before you leave, let’s discuss the right temperature to leave it on. The ideal thermostat settings when you’re not at home will depend on the season and how long you’ll be gone. That being said, here are some general guidelines for setting your thermostat when you’re away:

In the Winter (Heating Season):

When you’re not at home for an extended period, it’s recommended to set your thermostat to a lower temperature to save energy. A typical setting is around 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Here in Orlando, you may even decide to simply turn it off since we don’t have to brave some of the fierce winters that our northern friends do. 

If you have a smart thermostat, you can program or adjust your thermostat to begin warming your home to your preferred temperature shortly before you return, ensuring that it’s comfortable when you’re back. You won’t need to come back to a house full of cold air if you take advantage of adjusting the thermostat remotely. If you don’t have a thermostat that can do this, contact us at Downtown Air and Heat before you go and we can install one.

In the Summer (Cooling Season):

When you’re away for summer vacation, set your thermostat to a higher temperature to conserve energy. A typical setting for summer vacation recommendations is around 78-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Just like in the winter, you can program or adjust your thermostat to start cooling your home to your preferred temperature before your return. Get the cooling system running a few hours beforehand and the indoor temperature will be perfect when you arrive home.

A Word About Humidity

Programmable thermostats are ideal for adjusting the temperature of your home when you’re not away, but you want to be careful how far you adjust it. The smaller the temperature difference between the indoor and outdoor settings, the more energy you’ll save. However, be cautious not to set it too low in winter or too high in summer to avoid potential issues like frozen pipes or excess humidity. 

Ultimately, the ideal thermostat settings when you’re not home should balance energy savings with your comfort. Consider your local Central Florida climate, the time you’ll be away, and your personal preferences. Some people barely turn up the air conditioning even when they’re home and therefore won’t need to adjust it too wildly. Experiment with settings to find the right balance for your specific situation, and take advantage of programmable or smart thermostat features to automate this process and make it more convenient.

When you adjust your temperature before you come home to your normal temperatures, you can save money without sacrificing comfort. Get ready to come home to a lower energy bill and a safe, secure home!

Choose Downtown Air and Heat For all Of Your HVAC and Thermostat Needs

We offer top-quality, same-day service at an affordable price. The trained technicians at Downtown Air and Heat provide you with the best HVAC repair and HVAC installation services. Our air conditioning and heating services are guaranteed for one year. We always give you a fair price, whether you are interested in a new thermostat, an air conditioner, or heat pump. These are just a few of the reasons so many of your Orlando friends and neighbors leave us positive reviews after they use our services!

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