When your on vacation, you may feel like it’s wasteful to keep heating the home you’re not spending time in. But should you really turn the heat off before you leave town? In most cases, heating contractors agree the answer is “no.” However, there are other ways you can more safely save on heating bills during travel.
You might figure that since you’re not home, it doesn’t really matter if your home’s indoor temperature falls to 40 or even 30 degrees F. However, your heating system exists for reasons other than simply keeping you warm. Allowing your home to become too cold could cause damage to building materials, appliances, and even decorative items like paintings and photos.
Even in the spring and fall, when temperatures are milder, there may be the occasional freezing day. You don’t want to turn your heat off and potentially subject your home to those freezing temperatures.
Another reason not to turn the heat off is your pipes. Your plumbing system is designed to be kept warm to some degree. Residential HVAC contractors do not recommend turning your heat off while your on vacation because this may cause your pipes to freeze. As the water expands inside your pipe, it can cause the pipes to burst, leading to extensive flooding. Keep the heat on, and you’re far less likely to come home to a flooded home.
What you can do to save money on heat while traveling is turn your thermostat down. If you set it to 55 degrees F for the duration of your stay, the home won’t get cold enough to allow pipes to freeze. Most appliances and building materials do perfectly well at 55 degrees, too.
If you’re leaving pets at home while you’re away, you’ll want to set your thermostat a bit higher. Most dogs and cats do just fine at 60 degrees F. If your pet is older or has short hair, you might want to leave the home a bit warmer.
Pay close attention to the thermostat settings as you adjust the temperature before travel. After adjusting the setting to your desired temperature, push the “hold” or “vacation mode” button. Otherwise, the thermostat will return to its regularly scheduled program while you’re away.
To save more on heating, it’s also a good idea to schedule a furnace tune up. This way, you can be confident your furnace is working as efficiently as possible while you’re away. Additionally, you can turn your water heater temperature down and unplug other electronics to save energy during your trip.
While turning your heat off while you’re on vacation is not wise, turning your thermostat down is a safe, smart way to save. If you’re in need of residential heating repair before you go away, contact H&H Heating and Cooling. We’re a heating and air conditioning company serving the Delaware Valley since 1985.