For many hours a day you’re away at work, or possibly at school. Yet your HVAC system keeps working, despite the house being empty. This needs a lot of energy and feels like wasting money. You can considerably scale back this cost by changing the thermostat up or down before you leave for work and setting it back to your favored temperature when you come home. But how much should the thermostat be adjusted?
Here’s what the Department of Energy has to say about thermostat adjustments:
You can save around 10% a year on heating and cooling by just adjusting your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day from its usual setting. The percentage of savings from setback is larger for buildings in milder climates than for those in more dynamic climates.
The tinier the difference between the both temperatures, the lower your total cooling bill should be. You can easily save energy in the winter by adjusting the thermostat to around 68°F while you're awake and setting it lower while you're sleeping or away from home. In the summer, you can follow the same strategy with central air conditioning by having your house warmer than normal when you are away 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 may have been informed that doing these adjustments aren’t worth it because your comfort system has to work even harder to go back to your preferred temperature, undoing your savings, but the energy department suggests this isn't true, namely 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
Despite 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 benefit of programmable and smart thermostats. You can set your thermostat to automatically move to a different temperature through your typical work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can increase or decrease the temperature (or the programming schedule) remotely. This is particularly helpful if you’ve neglected to adjust the setting before going on vacation.
Always Remember the Pets
If you have pets at home, give consideration to their comfort too. Cats and dogs with heavy fur won’t be comfy with high temperatures. And pets with less dense fur won't always be happy with cold temperatures. The same is true of tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Because temperature preferences differ significantly by breed and species, so it helps to verify the ideal temperature range for your pets.
Additional Perks of Adjusting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The harder you use your heating and cooling, the more carbon emissions you generate. Preserving energy decreases air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overworking your heating and cooling can reduce its life expectancy and cause more maintenance to be needed. It also means the air filter will clog up faster, making your indoor air supply worse.
If you have any ideas about your air conditioner features, or if you are looking for HVAC repair or maintenance, get in touch with the professionals at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, a big company with homegrown heart. We’re enthusiastic 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 cozy and contented.
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