For several hours a day you’re away at work, or perhaps at school. Yet your heating or air conditioning keeps working, without anybody home. This needs a ton of energy and wastes money. You can dramatically scale back this cost by setting the thermostat up or down as you go to work and adjusting it back to your favored temperature when you come home. But how much should you adjust the temperature?
Here’s what the Department of Energy says about thermostat adjustments:
You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling bills by simply turning your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day from its normal setting. The percentage of savings from setback is larger for buildings in cooler climates than for those in more dynamic climates.
The smaller the variation between the outdoor and indoor temperatures, the less expensive your overall cooling bill can be. You can easily save energy during the winter by adjusting the thermostat to something like 68°F while you're awake and setting it down while you're in bed or away from home. For summer, you can practice the same approach with central air conditioning by leaving your house warmer than normal when you are at work and setting the thermostat to a setting as high as you can manage comfortably when you're home and want cooling and to secure humidity control if required.
You may have been advised that making these adjustments won't be worth it because your heating and cooling has to work even harder to go back to your favored temperature, using up your savings, but the energy department suggests this isn't true, especially 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 head to work, it’s easy to forget 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 another temperature during your standard work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can adjust the temperature (or the programming schedule) remotely. This is very helpful if you’ve forgotten to change the setting before going on vacation.
Don't Forget the Pets
If you have a pet, give consideration to their comfort as well. Cats and dogs with thick fur won’t be as happy with high temperatures. And pets with less fur won't always be comfortable with cold temperatures. The same goes for tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Considering temperature preferences deviate significantly by breed and species, look them up for your pets.
Additional Advantages of Setting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The more you operate your heating and air conditioning, the more carbon emissions you generate. Conserving energy reduces air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overworking your HVAC system can reduce its longevity and cause additional maintenance to be needed. It also means the air filter can clog up more quickly, making your indoor air quality worse.
If you have any questions about your air conditioner settings, or if you require HVAC repair or maintenance, get in touch with the professionals at Chief/Bauer Service Experts, a big company with homegrown heart. We’re serious about making the world a comfortable place to live. Whether we’re warming, cooling or making the water flow, we take great pride in keeping our customers and communities comfy and content.
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