For many hours a day you’re away at work, or maybe at school. Yet your heating or air conditioning keeps working, despite the house being empty. This uses a ton of energy and costs you money. You can dramatically scale back this cost by adjusting the thermostat up or down before you go to work and setting it back to your desired temperature when you come 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 normal setting. The percentage of savings from setback is better for buildings in milder climates than for those in more severe climates.
The tinier the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the less expensive your total cooling bill will be. You can easily save energy through the winter by adjusting the thermostat to around 68°F while you're awake and turning it down while you're sleeping or away from home. In the summer, you can follow the same strategy with central air conditioning by having your house warmer than normal when you are at work and tweaking the thermostat to a setting as high as you're comfortable with when you are at home and want cooling and to provide humidity control if necessary.
You may have been told that doing these adjustments aren’t worth it because your comfort system has to work extra hard to get back to your favored temperature, undoing your savings, but the energy department puts that notion to rest, especially for a furnace: “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
Despite the benefits of adjusting your thermostat any time you leave for work, it’s not hard to miss in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one benefit of programmable and smart thermostats. You can set your thermostat to automatically move to a different temperature during your average work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can change the temperature (or the programming schedule) from anywhere. This is particularly helpful if you’ve neglected to change the setting before going on vacation.
Don't Forget the Pets
If you have a pet, think about their comfort as well. Cats and dogs with dense fur won’t be comfy with high temperatures. And pets with less fur won't always be pleased with cold temperatures. The same applies to tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Considering temperature preferences differ widely by breed and species, so review them for your pets.
Other Advantages of Adjusting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The harder you run your heating and cooling, the more carbon emissions you generate. Preserving energy reduces air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overusing your heating and cooling can cut its life expectancy and cause more maintenance to be necessary. It also means the air filter will clog up more quickly, making your air less clean.
If you have any questions about your air conditioner options, or if you are looking for HVAC repair or maintenance, call the specialists at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, a big company with hometown heart. We’re serious about making the world a comfy place to live. Whether we’re keeping things warm, cooling things down or making the water flow, we have a lot of pride in keeping our customers and communities cozy and contented.
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