For plenty of hours a day you’re away at work, or maybe at school. Yet your heating or air conditioning keeps working, without anybody home. This needs a ton of energy and feels like wasting money. You can significantly lower this cost by adjusting the thermostat up or down before you head to work and setting it back to your favored temperature when you return home. But how much should the thermostat be adjusted?
Here’s what the Department of Energy suggests about thermostat adjustments:
You can save around 10% a year on heating and cooling bills by simply setting your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day compared to its typical setting. The percentage of savings from setback is better for buildings in milder climates than for those in more severe climates.
The smaller the variation between the both temperatures, the less expensive your complete cooling bill can be. You can easily save energy during the winter by setting the thermostat to about 68°F while you're awake and setting it lower while you're in bed or away from home. For summer, you can use the same strategy with central air conditioning by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are away and setting the thermostat to a setting as warm as is comfortable for you when you return and want cooling and to ensure humidity control if necessary.
You might have been informed that making these adjustments are not worth the time because your comfort system has to work extra hard to go back to your favored temperature, using up 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
Regardless of the benefits of setting your thermostat each time you head to work, it’s very 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 move to a different temperature during your standard work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can adjust the temperature (or the programming schedule) from anywhere. This is especially helpful if you’ve forgotten to adjust the setting before leaving for a trip.
Don't Forget the Pets
If you have a pet, think about their comfort too. Cats and dogs with dense fur won’t be comfortable with high temperatures. And pets with less dense fur might not be comfortable with cold temperatures. The same goes for tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Because temperature preferences vary significantly by breed and species, look them up for your pets.
Additional Benefits of Adjusting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The more you run your heating and cooling, the more carbon emissions you produce. Preserving energy reduces air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overworking your heating and cooling can reduce its life span and cause more 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 options, or if you require HVAC repair or maintenance, get in touch with the specialists at Stevenson Service Experts, a big company with hometown heart. We’re passionate about making the world a comfortable place to live. Whether we’re warming, cooling or making the water run, we have a lot of pride in keeping our customers and communities cozy and contented.
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