Programmable thermostats are great for conserving energy during your regular work schedule. You can set them at energy-saving temperatures when you’re away all day at work, or in bed at night. When used optimally, programmable thermostats can save you almost $200 a year in energy costs.

Leaving for vacation

When you leave for an extended period away from home, you can set the “hold” control for a constant temperature at an energy saving level. Just how high or low that level should be depends on a few factors.

In warm weather months, you want to keep the air conditioning to a minimum – which means keeping the house fairly warm. However, you don’t want to let the temperature rise too much because it can negatively affect your home and its furnishings.

  • You need a minimal level of air conditioning to guard against things like mold and mildew growth and in extreme heat, the warping of wood furniture, cabinets, or floors.
  • Additionally, making sure temperatures don’t get too high will keep food from spoiling in your pantry.
  • Extreme heat can also place stress on your refrigerator/freezer, as well as your sensitive electronic equipment.

On the flip side, you don’t want to pay to heat space unnecessarily if you’re away during colder months, but you don’t want to program the temperature so low that you run the risk of pipes bursting if temperatures dip below freezing while you’re gone.

The right temperature for an empty house

Generally, you want to program a steady temperature of about 5 degrees warmer than usual during warm months, and 5 degrees lower than your usual comfort level during cooler months.

Having a programmable thermostat that you can control remotely is a convenient way to check the temperature in your house from a remote location.  It’s also a good option to have in case you want to adjust your home to a comfortable setting right before you return.

Extra Tip: Help your heating and air conditioning do its best by making sure all the exterior windows and doors are closed tight – but leaving the interior doors open to allow for air flow.

For help with your thermostat, or to have a programmable thermostat installed, contact a local heating and cooling professional to go over all the options and find the solution that’s best for you.