Vacation. The perfect time for forgetting about all the stresses of everyday life. A time to relax somewhere new and spend some quality time with your family. While you might be in a hurry to pack and get out of town, you also need to consider what happens in the home while you are gone.
When it comes to energy use, it may seem enough that nobody will be in the home. You have turned off the television and computers and lights, so energy usage is sure to drop, right? In some ways this is true, you likely won’t be using quite as much energy as you would have been. That can save you a few bucks if you are on a vacation or two throughout the year.
However, this is not the whole story. Your appliances that are connected will still be using energy. Your heating system will keep heating, assuming it is left in a standard setting. Even if you prefer to turn off the heating and air while you are off on your getaway, it can be a bit more complicated than that. We will get into that a bit in this article.
When to Turn the Heat Off
If there will be nobody in the home, it may be okay for you to leave the heater and air conditioner (AC) off while you are out of town. If you have pets, that is a whole different story. If a few pets are left behind, you will want the thermostat set at a reasonable temperature for the animals to stay comfortable. In addition, if someone will be doing pet sitting, you do not want them to have to fight with a heating system they are not used to while they are in and out. If you are unsure about what temperature is right for your pets, consider asking your veterinarian before your vacation begins.
That said, you can set the temperature a bit higher than usual, even if it is summer and a few pets are in the home. If it is mild weather, it is fine to leave it off, as well. However, sometimes it is better to be prepared in case the weather changes while your home is inaccessible. This is going to be when it is great if you can set a thermostat and go. A heating system that requires manual shut off is going to be impossible to keep up with while you are gone.
Winter can be a whole different ball of wax. Even if there are no people or pets in the house, heating still matters. If your house gets super cold, appliances and pipes can start freezing. That can mean coming home to a basement full of water or a frozen dishwasher. You should keep the temperature at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid this potential disaster.
The Department of Energy suggests that you keep your thermostat at 68 degrees when someone is in the home. They further indicate that the temperature should be at 55 degrees Fahrenheit when you are sleeping or nobody is in the house. This will help with energy bills and prevent problems when you are not there to take care of them yourself. If you already have a heating and air system with a reliable thermostat, once you have set it, you are ready for that vacation. If not, you might need to consider your options.
One of the options for keeping the temperatures at the perfect spots while traveling is a wall-mounted electric heater like the Envi Electric Panel Heater. One of the great things you get with this heater is the ability to warm specific areas of the home. For instance, if you are on a trip and nobody is home, but you want to keep a specific area warm for the pets, you can do that. Set up your plug-in heater, put the thermostat at the temperature you would like, and you are good to go.
The Envi has been designed with several safety features for you and your family’s peace of mind.
- Cool to the touch: only reaches 90 degrees F on the front surface
- WallSens Technology: It will not heat without being mounted to the wall and will shut off if it falls from it.
- Built in Automatic Thermal cutoff: If the air from the heater exceeds a certain temperature, it will automatically shut off.
- Wall-mounted: Cannot be knocked over, tipped over, or tripped over.
So you have your home at the perfect temperature for the time you will be gone, you have set up a room for the cats or dogs, and no pipes are going to freeze while you are discovering the world. What else should you consider?
You may want to have someone check in occasionally to be sure nothing has gone wrong while you are gone. If something goes wrong with your heating and air, or any other major appliance, someone will be available to set things right while you are away. You will be able to take your mind off of home while you are not around and you can enjoy your trip for what it is.