For plenty of hours a day you’re gone at work, or possibly at school. Yet your comfort system keeps going and going, despite the house being empty. This needs a ton of energy and wastes money. You can dramatically 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 adjustments:
You can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling by just adjusting your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day rather than its typical setting. The percentage of savings from setback is larger for buildings in cooler climates than for those in more extreme climates.
The tinier the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your complete cooling bill should be. You can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to about 68°F while you're awake and setting it down while you're asleep or away from home. For summer, you can use the same strategy 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 necessary.
You could have been told that doing these adjustments are not worth the effort because your heating and cooling has to work even harder to return to your preferred temperature, undoing your savings, but the energy department dismisses that claim, especially for heating: “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 adjusting your thermostat any time you leave for work, it’s easy 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 change to another temperature through your average work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can increase or decrease the temperature (or the programming schedule) from your smartphone or similar device. This is especially helpful if you’ve neglected to adjust the setting before going on a long trip.
Remember the Pets
If you have a pet, give consideration to their comfort too. Cats and dogs with thick fur won’t be comfortable with high temperatures. And pets with less fur won't always be happy with cold temperatures. The same is true of tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Since temperature tolerances differ significantly by breed and species, so review them for your pets.
Other Perks of Changing Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The harder you use your heating and air conditioning, the more carbon emissions you produce. Conserving energy minimizes air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overusing your HVAC unit can reduce its life span and cause more maintenance to be required. It also means the air filter can clog up sooner, making your air less clean.
If you have any concerns about your air conditioner options, or if you require HVAC repair or maintenance, call the pros at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, a big company with local 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 run, we take great pride in keeping our customers and communities comfortable and contented.
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