adjusting your thermostat while on vacationAdjusting your thermostat while on vacation is one way to reduce your energy use when you are not at home. But how much should you adjust it? Should you turn the furnace off completely? How long will you be gone? What does your insurance company require? These and many more questions are areas that consumers should consider when they go away on vacation during winter months. We will try to answer these questions by providing some general guidelines related to heating your home in the wintertime.

Adjusting Your Thermostat While On Vacation

Consumers should always consider adjusting the thermostat downwards when they go away on vacation.  Never turn your furnace off and never lower the temperature so far that there is a danger of freezing water pipes. Frozen water pipes can crack the pipes causing a great deal of water damage when the pipes eventually thaw.

Many websites and experts suggest that a temperature of no lower than 50F or 10 C for your home. Note that if you have a basement, the temperature will actually be a few degrees lower in the basement. Water pipes close to walls and windows in the basement could actually freeze when there is extreme cold outside. Check your basement temperature differential from your thermostat setting. If your setting is 50F and your basement is 45F, you may want to adjust the temperature setting on your thermostat. Adjust it upwards to ensure that the basement never goes below 50F.

Consumers should also check with their insurance company. Verify the guidelines they required to enable your home to remain insured. They may want the main water valve turned off. They may want someone to check on your home’s heating system every day. No one wants a huge water damage repair and finds out there is no coverage because they did not follow their insurance companies’ guidelines.