For several hours a day you’re gone at work, or perhaps at school. Yet your heating or air conditioning keeps going and going, without anybody home. This uses up a ton of energy and wastes money. You can significantly lower this cost by changing the thermostat up or down before you leave for work and adjusting it back to your desired temperature when you come home. But how much should the thermostat be adjusted?
Here’s what the Department of Energy says about thermostat settings:
You can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling 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 greater for buildings in milder climates than for those in more severe climates.
The tinier the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill can be. You can effectively save energy through the winter by setting the thermostat to about 68°F while you're awake and turning it down while you're sleeping or away from home. During the summer, you can practice the same plan with central air conditioning by having 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 return and want cooling and to provide humidity control if necessary.
You may have been told that these kinds of adjustments won't be worth the time because your comfort system has to work extra hard to get back to your desired temperature, undoing 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 adjusting your thermostat any time you head to work, it’s very easy to forget in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one advantage of programmable and smart thermostats. You can set your thermostat to automatically move to a different temperature during your regular work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can change the temperature (or the programming schedule) from anywhere. This is very helpful if you’ve neglected to fix the setting before leaving for a trip.
Remember the Pets
If you own pets, consider their comfort too. Cats and dogs with thick fur won’t be comfortable with high temperatures. And pets with less dense fur may not be pleased with cold temperatures. The same applies to tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Since temperature tolerances differ universally by breed and species, look them up for your pets.
Other Benefits of Setting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The harder you use your HVAC system, the more carbon emissions you produce. Preserving energy reduces air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overusing your HVAC unit can diminish its longevity and cause increased maintenance to be needed. It also means the air filter can clog up faster, making your indoor air supply worse.
If you have any ideas about your air conditioner features, or if you need HVAC repair or maintenance, call the professionals at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, a big company with local heart. We’re enthusiastic 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 cozy and satisfied.
Experts — it’s in the name and core to our work. We work hard to help each team member become a skilled craftsman. We employ the best and supply education, opportunities and reinforcement, so our teams can learn, grow and be ready for any challenge in front of them.
Our total business strength and people separate us from other service companies. With more than 4,000 team members collaborating on making you comfortable, we can deliver and innovate more successfully than the competition. Our can-do, family-friendly attitude fuels our collaboration and helps us get the job done on time, and right — the first time.
Our blend of company size and individual expertise means we can offer more with the next big idea … which may come from anywhere and anyone. We are reinvigorating the industry by supporting each team member’s greatest ideas. That means our teams and customers can rest assured we’re moving, innovating, delivering, and in it for the long haul, through the busy times and beyond.
We are Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning! Offering strength, knowledge and support through every season.