For several hours a day you’re off at work, or possibly at school. Yet your comfort system keeps going and going, without anybody home. This uses a ton of energy and wastes money. You can significantly lower this cost by setting the thermostat up or down before you go to work and resetting it back to your desired temperature when you get home. But how much should you adjust it?
Here’s what the Department of Energy says about thermostat changes:
You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling bills by just adjusting your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day compared to its usual setting. The percentage of savings from setback is better for buildings in milder climates than for those in more severe climates.
The lower the contrast between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the more affordable your overall cooling bill will be. You can easily save energy through the winter by setting the thermostat to around 68°F while you're awake and adjusting it lower while you're sleeping or away from home. In the summer, you can use the same plan with central air conditioning by leaving your house warmer than normal when you are gone and adjusting the thermostat to a setting as warm as you're comfortable with when you're home and want cooling and to ensure humidity control if required.
You might have been informed that doing these adjustments aren’t worth the effort because your HVAC has to work harder to go back to your favored temperature, using up your savings, but the energy department suggests this isn't true, especially for heating: “A common misconception associated with thermostats is that a furnace works harder than normal to warm the space back to a comfortable temperature after the thermostat has been set back, resulting in little or no savings. In fact, as soon as your house drops below its normal temperature, it will lose energy to the surrounding environment more slowly.”
Programmable and Smart Thermostats
Even with the benefits of adjusting your thermostat every time you head to work, it’s not hard to overlook in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one advantage of programmable and smart thermostats. You can direct your thermostat to automatically change to a different temperature across your regular work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can increase or decrease the temperature (or the programming schedule) remotely. This is particularly helpful if you’ve neglected to change the setting before leaving for a trip.
Don't Forget the Pets
If you own pets, give consideration to their comfort too. Cats and dogs with heavy fur won’t be as happy with high temperatures. And pets with less fur might not be comfortable with cold temperatures. The same goes for tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Because temperature tolerances vary universally by breed and species, so review them for your pets.
Other Advantages of Setting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The harder you operate your heating and air conditioning, the more carbon emissions you produce. Conserving energy reduces air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overworking your HVAC unit can diminish its life span and cause additional maintenance to be needed. It also means the air filter can clog up sooner, making your indoor air supply worse.
If you have any questions about your air conditioner options, or if you need HVAC repair or maintenance, contact the specialists at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, a big company with local heart. We’re enthusiastic about making the world a cozy place to live. Whether we’re warming, cooling or making the water run, we take great pride in keeping our customers and communities comfortable and satisfied.
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