For many hours a day you’re gone at work, or possibly at school. Yet your heating or air conditioning keeps going and going, without anybody home. This needs a ton of energy and wastes money. You can significantly reduce this cost by changing the thermostat up or down as you leave for work and setting it back to your favored temperature when you come home. But how much should you adjust it?
Here’s what the Department of Energy says about thermostat changes:
You can save up to 10% a year on HVAC costs by just turning your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day from its typical setting. The percentage of savings from setback is larger for buildings in cooler climates than for those in more extreme climates.
The smaller the contrast between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your total cooling bill should be. You can effectively save energy during the winter by lowering the thermostat to about 68°F while you're awake and adjusting it lower while you're sleeping or away from home. During the summer, you can use the same plan with central air conditioning by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are gone and adjusting the thermostat to a setting as warm as you're comfortable with when you are at home and want cooling and to provide humidity control if necessary.
You may have been informed that making these adjustments won't be worth the effort because your heating and cooling 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, particularly 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 changing your thermostat every time you head to work, it’s very easy to forget in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one perk of programmable and smart thermostats. You can instruct your thermostat to automatically shift to a higher or lower temperature through your regular work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can increase or decrease the temperature (or the programming schedule) from anywhere. This is very helpful if you’ve neglected to adjust the setting before going on a long trip.
Remember the Pets
If you have a pet, think about their comfort too. Cats and dogs with dense fur won’t be as happy with high temperatures. And pets with short fur may not be pleased with cold temperatures. The same goes for tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Considering temperature tolerances differ widely 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 operate your HVAC system, the more carbon emissions you generate. Preserving energy decreases air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Demanding too much from your HVAC unit can diminish its life expectancy and cause increased maintenance to be required. It also means the air filter may clog up faster, making your air less clean.
If you have any questions about your air conditioner options, or if you require HVAC repair or maintenance, contact the specialists 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 warming, cooling or making the water run, we have a lot of pride in keeping our customers and communities comfortable and satisfied.
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