What Temperature to Leave a Vacant House in Winter: A Guide to Energy Efficiency

What Temperature to Leave a Vacant House in Winter?

When leaving a vacant house in winter, it is generally recommended to set the thermostat to 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

This temperature range of 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit is suitable for most locations.

Additionally, it is advised to turn off the water to the whole house, empty water pipes, remove trash, unplug unused appliances, and make the house airtight to prevent cold and critters from entering.

Key Points:

  • Set thermostat to 55 degrees Fahrenheit when leaving a vacant house in winter.
  • Temperature range of 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit is suitable for most locations.
  • Turn off water and empty water pipes.
  • Remove trash and unplug unused appliances.
  • Make house airtight to prevent cold and critters from entering.

Did You Know?

1. Did you know that leaving your vacant house at a temperature of 55°F (12.8°C) in winter is not only energy efficient but can also help prevent issues such as frozen pipes or rodent infestations?

2. Before vacating your house for the winter, it’s crucial to turn off the main water supply and drain all the pipes to avoid potential bursts caused by freezing water expansion.

3. Leaving your thermostat set too low, below 55°F (12.8°C), during winter can actually lead to excessive moisture build-up inside the house, resulting in mold growth and potential damage to your belongings.

4. Insulating your water pipes can provide an extra layer of protection against freezing temperatures, reducing the risk of pipe bursts and subsequent water damage while your house remains vacant.

5. While it may seem counterintuitive, leaving certain interior doors open when you vacate your house during winter can help maintain consistent airflow, ensuring that the temperature is evenly distributed throughout your home, and preventing pockets of cold air from building up.

Recommended Temperature Range For A Vacant House In Winter

When leaving a vacant house in winter, it is crucial to find the balance between energy conservation and protecting the property from potential damage caused by freezing temperatures. Most heating and cooling professionals recommend setting the thermostat to 55 degrees Fahrenheit as the ideal temperature during the winter months.

The recommended temperature range for a vacant house in winter typically falls between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping the temperature within this range helps ensure that the house remains warm enough to prevent frozen pipes and other weather-related issues, while still conserving energy to keep utility bills in check.

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Maintaining a consistent temperature in this range helps to preserve the structural integrity of the house and prevents potential damage from the extreme cold. Additionally, it ensures a comfortable environment for returning occupants or potential buyers when they visit the property.

Additional Steps To Take When Leaving A Vacant House In Winter

Simply setting the thermostat to the recommended temperature range is not the only precautionary step one should take when leaving a vacant house in winter. In order to adequately protect the property and its systems, there are a few additional steps to follow.

Turning off the water to the entire house is advisable to prevent any potential leaks or burst pipes. This will minimize the chances of damage caused by freezing water. Furthermore, emptying water pipes by opening faucets and flushing toilets will also help to ensure that no water is left sitting stagnant in the system.

Taking out all trash is important, as well as unplugging any unused appliances. This will not only help to conserve energy but also mitigate any risks of fire hazards or electrical issues that may arise during the absence of occupants from the property.

Lastly, ensuring that the house is airtight is paramount. This involves sealing any cracks or gaps in windows, doors, or other openings that may allow cold air to seep in. Keeping the house airtight will not only keep out the cold air, but also prevent unwanted critters from finding their way inside and causing potential damage or infestation.

Tips For Leaving A Vacant House In Winter

When leaving a house vacant in winter, it is important to implement a few practical tips to ensure the property remains safe and well-maintained during your absence. Besides setting the thermostat to the recommended temperature range and following the additional steps mentioned earlier, there are a few other suggestions worth considering.

  • Inform a trusted neighbor or relative: It is advisable to inform a trusted neighbor or relative about your absence. This way, they can periodically check on the property, assist with any emergencies, and maintain a watchful eye on the overall condition of the house.

  • Set up timers for lights: Setting up timers for lights and occasionally using them can create the illusion of occupancy, deterring potential burglars.

  • Install motion-sensing outdoor lights: Furthermore, installing motion-sensing outdoor lights can help to enhance security.

  • Regularly service and maintain heating and cooling systems: It is a wise decision to have the heating and cooling systems at your vacant house regularly serviced and maintained. Routine inspections and maintenance checks can help identify any potential issues before they become costly problems. This ensures that the systems in the house remain in good working condition, and that the property is ready for occupancy when the time comes.

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Proper Temperature For A Vacant House In Summer

When leaving a vacant house in summer, it is important to consider the recommended temperature based on the season and climate in the region. For energy conservation and to prevent property damage, it is generally safe to turn the thermostat up to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature allows for a balance between conserving energy and avoiding excessive heat and humidity.

Investing in a programmable or smart thermostat can make temperature adjustments easier. These devices allow homeowners to set temperature schedules, ensuring that the house remains comfortable when necessary and conserves energy when not in use.

Furthermore, adjusting the thermostat a few degrees warmer while away can save on cooling costs during the summer. For most locations, a recommended temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit is suitable for a vacant house in summer. This temperature achieves a balance between energy efficiency and preventing potential damage from high humidity or extreme heat.

Maintaining A Clean And Comfortable Vacant House In Any Season

Maintaining a clean indoor environment, regardless of the season, is crucial when leaving a vacant house. Failure to do so can lead to unpleasant odors, pests, and potential health hazards upon your return.

Replacing dirty air filters regularly is an essential step to ensure clean indoor air quality. This practice prevents dust, pollen, and other allergens from accumulating in the HVAC system, and improves overall air circulation within the vacant house.

In addition to air filter maintenance, it is important to remove any perishable items from the refrigerator and pantry to avoid mold and pest issues. Cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces, such as countertops, sinks, and bathroom fixtures, will also help maintain a clean and hygienic environment.

Overall, proper temperature management and cleanliness are vital components for maintaining a vacant house in any season. By following the recommended temperature ranges and taking necessary steps to preserve the property, you can ensure a safe and energy-efficient home upon your return.

  • Regularly replace dirty air filters
  • Remove perishable items from the refrigerator and pantry
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces
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Remember to follow the recommended temperature ranges for proper temperature management.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a safe temperature for an empty house in the winter?

To ensure the safety and maintenance of an unoccupied house during winter, it is recommended to maintain a minimum temperature of 55°F/13°C. By doing so, the risk of frozen pipes and the development of moisture-related issues such as mold can be mitigated. This temperature ensures a balance between energy efficiency and preventing potential damage caused by extreme cold temperatures.

Is 17 degrees Celsius cold for house?

A house set at 17 degrees Celsius can be considered slightly cold based on the recommended temperature settings. While 16 degrees Celsius is suggested for sleep or when the house is unoccupied, the difference of just one degree may lead to a slightly chillier environment. However, personal preferences and tolerance to cold can vary, so some individuals might find 17 degrees Celsius to be a comfortable temperature for their house. It is important to adjust the temperature according to individual comfort levels and energy efficiency goals.

What temperature should a cold house room be?

To maintain a comfortable and healthy environment in your cold house, it is advisable to keep the room temperature at a minimum of 18 degrees Celsius. Straying below this temperature threshold may expose you to potential health risks, as suggested by the World Health Organisation. Although it might be tempting to ignore the bills and ecological impact, ensuring an adequately warm living space fosters well-being and reduces the chances of encountering adverse consequences associated with colder temperatures.

What is the lowest safe temp for a vacant house?

To ensure the safety of a vacant house during winter, it is advisable to maintain a minimum safe temperature of 45°F. While colder temperatures may help reduce heating costs, setting the thermostat within this range helps prevent potential damages caused by freezing pipes. It strikes a balance between energy conservation and safeguarding the home’s plumbing system, making it a suitable temperature setting for an empty house during winter.

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