For several hours a day you’re away at work, or maybe at school. Yet your heating or air conditioning keeps working, despite the house being empty. This needs a lot of energy and wastes money. You can significantly scale back this cost by adjusting the thermostat up or down before you leave for work and setting it back to your desired temperature when you return home. But how much should you adjust the temperature?
Here’s what the Department of Energy has to say about thermostat settings:
You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling bills by just turning your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day from its normal setting. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in more temperate climates than for those in more extreme climates.
The smaller the difference between the outdoor and indoor temperatures, the less expensive your total cooling bill can be. You can comfortably save energy during the winter by setting the thermostat to about 68°F while you're awake and turning it lower while you're asleep or away from home. During the summer, you can use the same plan with central air conditioning by leaving your house warmer than normal when you are at work and setting the thermostat to a setting as warm as is comfortable for you when you're home and want cooling and to secure humidity control if needed.
You could have been told that doing these adjustments aren’t worth the effort because your comfort system has to work extra hard to get back to your preferred temperature, undoing your savings, but the energy department dismisses that claim, 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 changing your thermostat each time you head to work, it’s easy to overlook in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one advantage of programmable and smart thermostats. You can adjust your thermostat to automatically change to another temperature through your average work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can increase or decrease the temperature (or the programming schedule) remotely. This is especially helpful if you’ve neglected to adjust the setting before going on vacation.
Remember 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 might not be happy with cold temperatures. The same is true of tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Because temperature tolerances deviate universally by breed and species, look them up for your pets.
Additional Benefits of Setting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The more you run your heating and air conditioning, the more carbon emissions you generate. Conserving energy decreases air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overusing your HVAC unit can reduce its life span and cause additional maintenance to be required. It also means the air filter can clog up faster, making your indoor air supply worse.
If you have any concerns about your air conditioner settings, or if you need HVAC repair or maintenance, call the specialists at Pardee Service Experts, a big company with hometown heart. We’re passionate about making the world a cozy 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 contented.
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