Cool Air and Humidity
It’s easy to overlook the impact of humidity in our area during the summer. Once the season approaches, homeowners might decide to turn off the air conditioning while they’re away. Turning it off or raising it to where it’s very hot could possibly cause issues in the home and maybe even damage wood products, furniture, cabinets, etc. You wouldn’t want to return to a humid, practically steamy house that would take several days to get back into a conditioned state. At that point, any savings you would have gained by turning it up are going to be spent by trying to get it back to a comfortable level.
Keeping Humidity Low
Therefore, our recommendation is to leave the air conditioning on and raise it 4 degrees higher than its normal setting. This is going to give you some savings while also continuing to condition your home’s humidity level. During the wintertime, we recommend going 4 degrees cooler than the normal setting, or 8 degrees if you have a gas furnace. (Gas furnaces are much more efficient at overcoming cool temperatures than a heat pump.)
How to set a Programmable Thermostat
If you have a programmable thermostat, don’t just adjust the temperature up or down before you leave on vacation. All you would be changing is the temporary hold. If the thermostat is set to a schedule, it will just hold the temperature until the next timeframe—then it will go back to its normal setting. Instead, you want to make sure to change the thermostat to have a permanent hold of 4 degrees higher while you’re out of town.
Some programmable thermostats have a vacation mode you can enable while you’re away. The thermostat will know when you’re set to return home so it can revert to its normal state right before you get back. Smart thermostats just make this process easy to do right from a mobile device. If you have a smart thermostat made by someone like Nest or Ecobee, you can use a phone app to make adjustments while you’re away on vacation. (This is probably your best bet.) Aside from setting holds, you can also use the app to turn it back before you get home so you won’t have any fluctuations while also maximizing efficiency.
For more information about smart thermostats, request an appointment or give us a call at 540-483-9382. We carry them on our truck and we can actually upgrade your home without any advance notice. Any time we’re already out on a heat check, cool check, or HVAC service call, you can decide to get one put in your home.