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A Traveler's Guide to Heating & Cooling Their Home While Away
Whether it’s a weekend excursion or a month-long vacation, homeowners must know how to prepare their home for their extended absence. For example, you must also figure out how to properly heat and cool your home while it’s empty. While many assume that you can turn off your air conditioner when you leave and reactivate it when you arrive, there are more efficient heating and cooling methods when you’re gone. Read below to learn more about temperature regulation in your home while you’re away!
Outdoor Temperature and Trip Duration
Outdoor temperature and trip duration are two of the more important factors to consider when heating and cooling your home while away. Depending on the seasonal weather, you should take necessary precautions to not just regulate temperature but protect your home. Generally speaking, you should set the thermostat to 50-55 ℉ when traveling for more than three days in the winter. Setting it any lower or turning it off entirely can increase the chances of pipes freezing and bursting, which can lead to catastrophic water damage throughout your home. Conversely, setting your thermostat between 85-90 ℉ when traveling for the summer helps keep certain appliances from overheating.
While it may seem economic to turn off your system entirely, this can be very harmful to your home. This increases moisture levels in your home, which not only leads to mold and mildew but attracts insects as well. Before departing, be sure to check your local weather for the duration of your trip so you can set your thermostat accordingly. The longer your vacation lasts, the further your home will deviate from its ideal temperature. This means it will take longer for your HVAC system to create the optimal indoor climate when you return home. In addition to the aforementioned water damage and appliance protection, this is another reason why you cannot just turn off your HVAC system when you leave. It contributes to wasted energy and increases the strain on your HVAC system.
Ductless Mini Split Systems
Ductless mini split systems feature an outdoor condenser connected to one or more indoor air conditioners by copper wires and pipes. A single-zone system features one outdoor unit connected to one indoor unit, while a multi-zone system features multiple indoor units connected to the same outdoor unit.
A single-zone system is an ideal option for those looking to cool one specific area such as a floor, room, or level. The air conditioners can be adjusted independently of each other, allowing you to create different indoor climates in each area. This is ideal for those needing to heat and cool multiple different areas, such as a multi-level house or office building. To meet the design and visual needs of different situations, mini split air conditioners are available in several different sizes and styles. Mini splits are traditionally wall-mounted but there are also ceiling cassette, slim duct, floor mount, and other styles available.
Mini split systems offer many different advantages over other HVAC alternatives, such as efficiency. Arguably their main benefit, mini split systems operate at such high levels of efficiency that they lower your energy consumption. The resulting energy bill savings are noticeable in both the short and long term.
They also have very simple installation and maintenance processes. Adding or extending ductwork for central HVAC systems is costly and intrusive, but mini splits can be installed in no time by a trained HVAC professional! Mini splits should be deep cleaned or professionally inspected annually, but their minimal regular maintenance includes filter cleaning and coil wiping. For those reasons and more, mini splits are the premier HVAC system for those looking to heat and cool their home anytime, not just when they are on vacation.Switch To Ductless & Save
Mini split systems do not just increase your indoor comfort but safety as well. Inside of each indoor unit is a filter that purifies and improves indoor air quality by filtering out harmful materials. Dust, dirt, debris, dander, bacteria, and more are removed from the indoor air to create a healthier environment. This is especially helpful for those suffering from respiratory or sinus irritation and diseases such as asthma.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the concentration of certain airborne pollutants is two to five times higher indoors than out. With people spending roughly 90% of their time indoors, healthy indoor air quality is of the highest priority, and mini splits help keep you and your family safe in both the short and long term.
Mini splits also remove airborne moisture to prevent mold and mildew buildup, and this particular benefit is very advantageous for frequent travelers. Airborne moisture builds up in your home over time, especially in stagnant air while homeowners are out of town. Rainy or humid weather can also contribute to indoor mold. Fortunately, mini splits keep the airflow moving and decrease airborne moisture levels, in addition to regulating the temperature while you are gone!
Mini splits utilize smart technologies to provide advanced indoor climate control. When connected to a Wi-Fi network, your mini split system can be controlled via smartphone application. This provides advanced control over temperature, airflow, humidity, and other indoor climate settings. There are also many “modes” available such as heat, cool, dry, fan only, and auto, each of which provide a different indoor atmosphere.
Smartphone applications also allow you to control your system when you are not physically at home, meaning you can adjust your system while you are traveling! This can come in handy in several different scenarios. For example, if the outdoor weather drastically and unexpectedly changes at home, you can adjust your system to ensure that your home is being adequately heated or cooled.
Temperature cycling is another advantage of smart mini split systems. This practice involves programming your system to change various settings in timed intervals for a specific period of time. Temperature cycles are especially advantageous when people are traveling, as you can program your system to operate and adjust automatically while you are gone.
You may want to program your system to decrease operating level for the duration of your trip, but activate shortly before you return so you arrive at a comfortable home after your long travels. This increases your system’s efficiency, as it is very wasteful to heat and cool an empty house at a higher level for the duration of your trip.
This also leads to lower energy costs, as your home is consuming significantly less energy while you are away. One common temperature cycle is a “sleep cycle” where your system decreases noise and operating level while lowering temperature to create the ideal bedroom environment. People also program their mini split cycles based around their workday, as their system can decrease power or turn off entirely when they leave in the morning, and then reactivate in the evening. Many mini splits come installed with pre-programmed temperature cycles, while most provide users with the ability to design their own temperature cycle to meet their specific heating and cooling needs.
For example, the GREE Vireo system uses an Energy Savings Mode that automatically adjusts your system once the room reaches its desired temperature. Mitsubishi systems and their patented Zoned Comfort Solutions allow users to program their desired temperature cycles. Their kumo cloud app sends reminders, provides updates about your system and climate, and allows you to adjust your system remotely. When programming a temperature cycle based around your travel schedule, be sure to factor in the outdoor temperature and trip length.
Mini split systems are also compatible with smart thermostats, which provide even more advanced climate control and information. Smart thermostats can be very beneficial for all homeowners, but especially regular travelers. The in-depth control and data helps you efficiently heat and cool your home while you are away.
The Honeywell D6 is one excellent smart thermostat sold by ComfortUp. It is compatible with over 100 different mini split systems, all available for purchase from ComfortUp. Additionally, the Honeywell D6 provides its own smartphone application for remote control and can be paired with smart home devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
The Honeywell D6’s temperature cycling and geofencing features are perfect for frequent travelers. The thermostat allows for programmable 7-day, 5/2-day, or 1-week programs, among other options. Geofencing also activates the system to heat or cool, as specified, once you are within a certain distance from your home. Not only does this thermostat increase your system’s efficiency and lower your energy costs but you can arrive home from your trip to a comfortable home!
Non-HVAC Ways to Regulate Temperature
Even though the HVAC system is one of the more important home heating and cooling elements, other factors go into temperature regulation. For example, frequent travelers must make sure their home is properly insulated. Insulation seals your home, which prevents air produced by your HVAC system from escaping and outdoor air from entering. This helps eliminate temperature imbalances and reduces wasted energy produced by your HVAC system.
It is especially helpful when heating and cooling an empty house, as insulation ensures that your home does not drastically deviate from the temperature specified by your HVAC system. Before leaving your home, be sure to turn off all the lights. Leaving lights on in an empty house is wasteful, as it consumes unnecessary electricity and raises your home’s heating costs. It causes bulbs to burn out faster, meaning they need to be replaced more frequently. Light bulbs also emanate heat, and this can lead to temperature imbalances in your home over time.
You should also close any curtains and blinds. Natural light is normally an effective way to provide supplementary heat to your home, but it can lead to unintended temperature imbalances over time. This is important all year round, but becomes especially important during the hotter summer months. Blackout curtains, thermal curtains, and reflective drapes can work with your HVAC system to help regulate your home’s temperature and prevent natural light related imbalances.
Whether accidental or intentional, many people leave their ceiling fans on while they are away from home. While ceiling fans are a fine source of primary or supplementary hot or cold air, they should not be left on in an empty room. The air produced by a ceiling fan heats or cools the room’s inhabitants, but does not heat or cool the room itself. This means that running a ceiling fan in an empty room serves little purpose other than wasted energy and electricity, which has an adverse effect of raised energy costs. Turning off your ceiling fans before traveling will lead to saved energy and lower electricity costs for the duration of your trip.
Order a Mini Split System from ComfortUp Today!
ComfortUp proudly sells single and multi-zone mini split systems and accessories, such as smart thermostats from the industry’s most trusted brands—GREE, Boreal, LG, Mitsubishi, and more. No matter what you need, we have a product for you!
We have a team of trained product specialists standing by, ready to help find the mini split system that meets your specific heating and cooling needs. They can also answer specific questions about heating and cooling your home while traveling, especially concerning ideal settings and programming temperature cycles for each different system. Give us a call at 1-855-337-0001 or contact us online today!
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