For many hours a day you’re off at work, or perhaps at school. Yet your comfort system continues to run, despite the house being empty. This uses a good deal of energy and wastes money. You can considerably lower this cost by setting the thermostat up or down as you head to work and resetting it back to your favored temperature when you get home. But how much should the thermostat be adjusted?
Here’s what the Department of Energy suggests about thermostat adjustments:
You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day rather than its typical setting. The percentage of savings from setback is larger for buildings in more temperate climates than for those in more extreme climates.
The lower the contrast between the both temperatures, the less expensive your overall cooling bill will be. You can effectively save energy in the winter by lowering the thermostat to something like 68°F while you're awake and adjusting it lower while you're in bed or away from home. In the summer, you can practice the same plan with central air conditioning by having your house warmer than normal when you are gone and setting the thermostat to a setting as high as is comfortable for you when you're home and want cooling and to provide humidity control if necessary.
You could have been advised that doing these adjustments won't be worth the time because your comfort system has to work even harder to get back to your favored temperature, reversing your savings, but the energy department suggests this isn't true, particularly 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
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 benefit of programmable and smart thermostats. You can adjust your thermostat to automatically change to another temperature across your typical 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 vacation.
Don't Forget the Pets
If you have a pet, think about 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 is true of tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Since temperature preferences differ significantly by breed and species, so review them for your pets.
Additional Benefits of Changing Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The more often you operate your heating and air conditioning, the more carbon emissions you generate. Preserving energy reduces air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overworking your HVAC unit can cut its life expectancy and cause increased maintenance to be needed. It also means the air filter can clog up faster, making your air less clean.
If you have any ideas about your air conditioner features, or if you need HVAC repair or maintenance, contact the specialists at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, a big company with local heart. We’re enthusiastic about making the world a comfy 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 content.
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