For several hours a day you’re off at work, or perhaps at school. Yet your HVAC system continues to run, with nobody home. This uses a good deal of energy and costs you money. You can significantly lower this cost by setting the thermostat up or down when you leave for work and adjusting it back to your preferred temperature when you get home. But how much should you adjust the temperature?
Here’s what the Department of Energy says about thermostat settings:
You can save around 10% a year on heating and cooling bills 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 better for buildings in milder climates than for those in more dynamic climates.
The smaller the variation between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the less expensive your complete cooling bill should be. You can effectively save energy through the winter by adjusting the thermostat to around 68°F while you're awake and adjusting it lower while you're asleep or away from home. For summer, you can follow the same strategy with central air conditioning by having your house warmer than normal when you are away and adjusting the thermostat to a setting as warm as is comfortable for you when you return and want cooling and to provide humidity control if necessary.
You could have been informed that doing these adjustments are not worth the effort because your HVAC has to work extra hard to go back to your favored temperature, reversing your savings, but the energy department dismisses that claim, 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 each time you head to work, it’s not hard to miss in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one perk of programmable and smart thermostats. You can adjust your thermostat to automatically move to another temperature through your average work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can change the temperature (or the programming schedule) from anywhere. This is particularly helpful if you’ve neglected to fix the setting before leaving for a trip.
Always Remember the Pets
If you have a pet, give consideration to their comfort as well. Cats and dogs with heavy fur won’t be as happy with high temperatures. And pets with less dense fur might not be pleased with cold temperatures. The same applies to tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Because temperature tolerances vary widely by breed and species, look them up for your pets.
More Advantages of Changing Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The more you operate your HVAC system, the more carbon emissions you generate. Saving energy decreases air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Demanding too much from your HVAC system can cut its longevity and cause increased maintenance to be required. It also means the air filter can clog up faster, making your indoor air quality worse.
If you have any ideas about your air conditioner features, or if you are looking for HVAC repair or maintenance, call the professionals at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, a big company with hometown heart. We’re passionate about making the world a comfy place to live. Whether we’re warming, cooling or making the water run, we take great pride in keeping our customers and communities comfortable and content.
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