For several hours a day you’re gone at work, or possibly at school. Yet your comfort system continues to run, despite the house being empty. This needs a lot of energy and costs you money. You can significantly lower this cost by adjusting the thermostat up or down as you head to work and setting it back to your favored temperature when you get home. But how much should the thermostat be adjusted?
Here’s what the Department of Energy has to say about thermostat settings:
You can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling by just turning your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day rather than its usual setting. The percentage of savings from setback is better for buildings in more temperate climates than for those in more dynamic climates.
The tinier the contrast between the outdoor and indoor temperatures, the less expensive your overall cooling bill should be. You can easily save energy during the winter by adjusting the thermostat to about 68°F while you're awake and setting it lower while you're asleep or away from home. In the summer, you can practice the same plan with central air conditioning by having your house warmer than normal when you are away and setting the thermostat to a setting as warm as you can manage comfortably when you're home and want cooling and to ensure humidity control if needed.
You could have been told that these kinds of adjustments aren’t worth it because your comfort system has to work extra hard to go back to your preferred temperature, using up your savings, but the energy department puts that notion to rest, namely 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
Despite the benefits of adjusting your thermostat any 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 set your thermostat to automatically change to another temperature across your average work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can increase or decrease the temperature (or the programming schedule) from anywhere. This is especially helpful if you’ve neglected to change the setting before going on a long trip.
Don't Forget the Pets
If you own pets, consider their comfort as well. Cats and dogs with thick fur won’t be as happy with high temperatures. And pets with less dense fur won't always be comfortable with cold temperatures. The same applies to tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Considering temperature tolerances differ significantly by breed and species, so review them for your pets.
More Benefits of Changing Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The more often you operate your heating and air conditioning, the more carbon emissions you produce. Conserving energy decreases air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Demanding too much from your HVAC system can reduce its longevity and cause additional maintenance to be required. It also means the air filter can clog up sooner, making your air less clean.
If you have any ideas about your air conditioner features, or if you are looking for HVAC repair or maintenance, contact the professionals at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, a big company with hometown heart. We’re passionate about making the world a comfortable 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 comfortable and contented.
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