Your home’s HVAC system doesn’t do a lot of good for you if you’re traveling across the country, so most homeowners like to adjust the temperature of the home’s air conditioning or heating system before they run out of town. One frequent question we get from homeowners is what temperature they should leave their thermostat on when going on vacation or when they’ll be away from home for several days. Let’s help you figure out the right temperature for your home.

So, What Temperature Should You Leave Your Home During Vacation?

During the Cold Season

Cold can have an impact on your home, and you should always take proper care of your home before leaving on vacation during the cold months of winter. That does not mean shutting your heat off. Shutting the heat off during winter can cause burst pipes and a host of other issues.

If you’re leaving for a winter vacation, aim to keep your home’s thermostat around 65 degrees. It also helps to open cabinets to allow air to circulate and to avoid cold spots. You may think you’re helping the environment or your utility bill by shutting your heat off but a cold home can leave you with serious repair bills, and you won’t be saving much power if your home must work for several hours to reheat the home.

During the Warm Season

While heat doesn’t produce the same type of damage to homes seen from the extreme cold you should still take care of your home if you’re leaving it alone during warm conditions. Most experts and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agree that your home will do fine up to around 85 degrees. This is also the temperature that your home can more recover from once your return home and reset the temperature. A sealed home in the heat can easily eclipse triple digits so provide a little relief to your home by setting your thermostat to 85.

Other Considerations

If you’re leaving pets at home or with a visiting sitter you can adjust the thermostat, but not much different than when you would be home yourself. Never leave a pet in a home during the winter with the heat cut off or in a home in the summer with the air conditioning cutoff. This is true not only for dogs and cats but other pets in the home like rodents. Houseplants can typically tolerate warmer conditions than you can but not always cold.

If you’re leaving home for several says to set your thermostat to 65 in the winter and 85 during the summer. These temperatures are the happy medium that won’t waste power while you’re away but will keep your home in good condition. Use more manageable temperatures if you are leaving a pet in the home.