For plenty of hours a day you’re gone at work, or maybe at school. Yet your comfort system keeps going and going, despite the house being empty. This uses a lot of energy and feels like wasting money. You can significantly reduce this cost by adjusting the thermostat up or down before you head to work and adjusting it back to your preferred temperature when you come home. But how much should you adjust it?
Here’s what the Department of Energy has to say about thermostat settings:
You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by just adjusting your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day from its typical setting. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in cooler climates than for those in more extreme climates.
The lower the contrast between the outdoor and indoor temperatures, the less expensive your complete cooling bill will be. You can effectively save energy through the winter by adjusting the thermostat to about 68°F while you're awake and setting it lower while you're sleeping or away from home. During the summer, you can use the same strategy with central air conditioning by leaving your house warmer than normal when you are at work and tweaking the thermostat to a setting as high as is comfortable for you when you're home and want cooling and to ensure humidity control if necessary.
You could have been told that doing these adjustments are not worth the effort because your comfort system has to work even harder to go back to your favored temperature, using up your savings, but the energy department dismisses that claim, particularly for heaters: “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 setting your thermostat any time you head to work, it’s easy to miss in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one perk of programmable and smart thermostats. You can set your thermostat to automatically change to a higher or lower temperature through your regular work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can change the temperature (or the programming schedule) remotely. This is particularly helpful if you’ve neglected to change the setting before going on a long trip.
Always Remember the Pets
If you have pets at home, think about their comfort as well. Cats and dogs with thick fur won’t be comfortable with high temperatures. And pets with less dense fur may not be comfortable with cold temperatures. The same is true of tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Because temperature tolerances deviate significantly by breed and species, so review them for your pets.
More Advantages of Changing Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The more you use your heating and cooling, the more carbon emissions you produce. Preserving energy minimizes air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Demanding too much from your HVAC unit can reduce its life expectancy and cause additional maintenance to be necessary. It also means the air filter can clog up more quickly, making your air less clean.
If you have any questions about your air conditioner settings, or if you are looking for HVAC repair or maintenance, call the pros at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, a big company with hometown heart. We’re passionate about making the world a cozy place to live. Whether we’re keeping things warm, cooling things down or making the water flow, we take great pride in keeping our customers and communities comfortable and satisfied.
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