For many hours a day you’re off at work, or maybe at school. Yet your heating or air conditioning continues to run, with nobody home. This uses up a ton of energy and costs you money. You can considerably scale back this cost by setting the thermostat up or down when you go to work and resetting it back to your favored temperature when you return home. But how much should you adjust the temperature?
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 compared to its usual setting. The percentage of savings from setback is larger for buildings in milder climates than for those in more severe climates.
The smaller the variation between the outdoor and indoor temperatures, the less expensive your total cooling bill should be. You can easily save energy through the winter by setting the thermostat to around 68°F while you're awake and turning it lower while you're asleep 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 tweaking the thermostat to a setting as warm as you can manage comfortably when you're home and want cooling and to provide humidity control if required.
You might have been advised that making these adjustments won't be worth the time because your HVAC has to work extra hard to get back to your favored 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
Regardless of the benefits of setting your thermostat each time you go to work, it’s easy to miss 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 shift to a different temperature across your typical work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can change the temperature (or the programming schedule) from your smartphone or similar device. This is particularly helpful if you’ve forgotten to fix the setting before going on vacation.
Don't Forget the Pets
If you have pets at home, think about their comfort as well. Cats and dogs with dense fur won’t be comfortable with high temperatures. And pets with short fur might not be comfortable with cold temperatures. The same applies to tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Because temperature tolerances differ universally by breed and species, so it helps to verify the ideal temperature range for your pets.
More Benefits of Adjusting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The more often you use your heating and cooling, the more carbon emissions you generate. Saving energy minimizes air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overusing your heating and cooling can diminish its life span and cause more maintenance to be needed. It also means the air filter will clog up faster, making your air less clean.
If you have any concerns about your air conditioner features, or if you are looking for HVAC repair or maintenance, get in touch with the pros at Norrell Service Experts, a big company with hometown heart. We’re enthusiastic about making the world a comfortable 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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