Ideal Thermostat Temperature for Vacation

  • June 29, 2023
  • By MR COOL

Planning a vacation comes with tons of considerations, like which hotel you should stay in and what must-see attractions to add to your itinerary. Amid all the hustle and bustle, you may forget about tiny details like what temperature to set your air conditioner when you’re away in summer. 

While we can’t plan your dream vacation for you, we can help you protect your home when you’re out of town. Use our complete guide below to learn the benefits of leaving your air conditioner running while you’re on vacation, the ideal temperature for your home during winter and summer vacations and how smart thermostats can help.

Should You Turn off Your Air Conditioning While on Vacation?

While your instinct may be to turn off your air conditioning while you’re away, it’s better for your home and energy consumption to leave it running. Feel free to unplug appliances like TVs, computers, lamps, gaming systems and more, but resist the urge to switch off your AC. Leaving your home without the AC running can damage valuables like electronic devices, food and even your home’s structure. Not to mention, if you have pets, they’ll be uncomfortable if your house gets overly hot or cold.

Many electronics are sensitive to extreme temperatures, so leaving these in a non-temperature-regulated place can cause functionality issues. Additionally, food will spoil much faster in a non-temperature-controlled home. Your refrigerator will have to work extra hard to keep perishable foods cool, using more energy than usual to maintain its cool temperature in the extreme heat. 

A non-temperature-controlled home will also cause any wood or concrete in your home to crack or weaken due to inconsistent temperatures. Additionally, without your AC running, your home may become too humid, creating the perfect environment for bugs, mold and mildew

Another benefit of leaving your AC on during your vacation is energy efficiency. While it may seem like a waste to keep your AC running while you’re away, you’ll use less energy to cool off your home when you return. Maintaining a consistent temperature lets you quickly and easily get your home back to your preferred temperature. Trying to heat or cool a home that has been freezing or sweltering for days will require a lot of time and energy, especially for bigger homes. 

What Temperature Should You Set Your Thermostat While Away?

The best temperature setting for your home will depend on the time of year and how long you plan to be away. Review some of the vacation thermostat setting suggestions below.

Ideal Temperature to Set Your AC When You’re on Vacation

Summer is the perfect time to relax and treat yourself to a long vacation. However, before you hit the road, you must prepare your house. One item to add to your to-do list is setting your AC to a higher-than-usual temperature. As previously mentioned, leaving your AC off can lead to damage, mold growth and more. 

So, what temperature should you set your thermostat when on summer vacation? The ideal range is 80 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit, but you can safely go up to as high as 85 degrees Fahrenheit for extended trips. This temperature range will keep your energy bill low while preventing issues like food spoilage.

If you plan a day trip and want to save on your energy costs, bump up your air conditioning a few degrees higher than you would normally keep it. Typically, around 78 degrees Fahrenheit is a good choice for days you’ll spend out of the house.

Ideal Temperature to Leave Your House While Away in the Winter

Completely turning off your heating while you’re away in the winter can lead to costly disasters like frozen or burst pipes and flooding. However, you also don’t need to maintain the same warmth you enjoy at home. Setting your thermostat to 55 degrees Fahrenheit will keep your house warm enough to prevent pipes from freezing without breaking the bank with a high energy bill.  

Before leaving for vacation, make your home as airtight as possible. Open windows or doors left ajar can cause your home’s heating system to work overtime to keep everything warm. Without proper insulation, you may come home to a higher-than-expected energy bill. 

Meanwhile, for brief day trips, you can set your thermostat a few degrees cooler than you usually would to save some money on your energy bills. 

Benefits of a Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats give you extra control and peace of mind for your home heating and cooling. With Wi-Fi capabilities and mobile access, you can continuously monitor your indoor temperature — even while you’re on a far-flung vacation. 

Consider these benefits of installing a smart thermostat.

  • Smartphone compatibility: A connected smartphone app lets you keep tabs on your home’s temperature. You can adjust and control your HVAC system remotely with only a few taps.
  • Avoid overworking your AC: Since smart thermostats give you control no matter where you travel, you can avoid overworking your AC. If you forgot to adjust your settings before leaving, or the weather drastically changes, you can easily adjust your thermostat. When you maintain the correct interior temperature range, your AC doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your home comfortable.  
  • Programmable settings: A unique smart thermostat capability is setting and forgetting it. In other words, you can program your thermostat to automatically adjust at different times of day or days of the week. For example, you can program your thermostat to increase the temperature while you’re at work to save energy. Then, program your thermostat to reset to your usual setting before you come home. You can save energy and money without having to think about it. 

Smart thermostats, like the MRCOOL Mini-Stat Smart App Controller, also have plenty of other benefits. From voice and precision controls to comfy mode and air filter status, a smart thermostat is a worthwhile investment for frequent travelers and those who prefer a staycation. 

Choose MRCOOL for Your Heating and Cooling Needs

Protect your home even when you’re not there with MRCOOL smart thermostat products. At MRCOOL, we pride ourselves on providing our customers with high-quality, durable and affordable heating and cooling systems. To see how our smart thermostats can improve your home, visit your local MRCOOL dealer. For more information on our products, need-to-know industry information and tips and tricks, check out our MRCOOL blog.

5 thoughts on “Ideal Thermostat Temperature for Vacation”

  1. I’m purchasing a Gen 3 from Lowe’s. I’m concerned that it might not be a DYI. I’m putting it in a cabin back in the woods. Really don’t want to hike a A/C guy out there. Am I correct to assume that it’s not a DYI?
    Chuck Napolitano

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