When it comes to the heating and air in your home, the thermostat is the brain and your HVAC system makes up the various appendages. The thermostat can be used to help warm or cool the home, and as such, it’s the primary factor in determining your energy usage and how big your utility bill is each month.
At All Hours Plumbing, we help many clients by offering them savvy tips for tweaking thermostat settings when they aren’t at home. By doing this in smart ways, you can keep your home comfortable when you’re there but avoid major spending during periods when you’re gone. Here are some basics to consider.
Summer and Winter Savings
If you take a vacation during either major season of the year, winter or summer, there are some things you can do with the thermostat to save money. In particular, setting the temperature higher during summer and lower during winter will limit the strain on your system.
As far as specific levels here, you have to be careful not to go overboard. Summer temperatures should not exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit, while winter temperatures should not drop below about 50 or 55 degrees. Homes that are too hot can lead to peeling wallpaper, warping wood and other issues, while homes that are too cold can lead to major condensation and frozen pipes. It’s tempting to go even further than this to save a few more bucks, but you risk costly damage in other areas.
Smart Thermostat Options
To really up your savings, consider a smart thermostat upgrade. These are options you can control from anywhere using your smartphone, allowing you to change the thermostat even when you aren’t home. It’s perfect if you take regular trips and aren’t sure of your exact return dates, for example.
The thermostat is the most valuable item for saving costs while you’re away, but it’s not the only tactic you can use. Consider things like closing blinds and shutters during summer to keep the hot sun out – or the opposite in the winter. You can also consider draining the plumbing system before a long winter absence, as this will remove any risk of frozen pipes. Another good strategy to avoid frozen pipes is opening cabinet doors under sinks to allow heated indoor air to make its way to exposed pipes.
For more on using the thermostat to save you money while you’re away, or for any of our other HVAC repair or plumbing services, contact the pros at All Hours Plumbing today.