For many hours a day you’re gone at work, or perhaps at school. Yet your heating or air conditioning keeps going and going, with nobody home. This uses a lot of energy and costs you money. You can dramatically reduce this cost by setting the thermostat up or down before you head to work and setting it back to your favored temperature when you get home. But how much should you adjust it?
Here’s what the Department of Energy has to say about thermostat changes:
You can save around 10% a year on heating and cooling bills by just setting your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day rather than its typical setting. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in milder climates than for those in more extreme climates.
The lower the difference between the outdoor and indoor temperatures, the lower your total cooling bill will be. You can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to about 68°F while you're awake and turning it down while you're in bed or away from home. In the summer, you can follow the same plan with central air conditioning by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are gone and setting the thermostat to a setting as warm as you can manage comfortably when you return and want cooling and to ensure humidity control if necessary.
You may have been advised that these kinds of adjustments are not worth it because your HVAC has to work even harder to return to your desired temperature, undoing your savings, but the energy department dismisses that claim, 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 each time you go to work, it’s easy to forget in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one perk of programmable and smart thermostats. You can instruct your thermostat to automatically change to a different temperature during your regular work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can change the temperature (or the programming schedule) from your smartphone or similar device. This is especially helpful if you’ve neglected to change the setting before going on vacation.
Remember the Pets
If you own pets, consider their comfort too. Cats and dogs with heavy fur won’t be comfy 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 tolerances vary significantly by breed and species, look them up for your pets.
Other Advantages of Setting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The more you run your HVAC system, the more carbon emissions you produce. Conserving energy decreases air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overusing your HVAC unit can cut its life expectancy and cause additional maintenance to be required. It also means the air filter may clog up sooner, making your air less clean.
If you have any concerns about your air conditioner settings, or if you require HVAC repair or maintenance, get in touch with the pros at Church Services, 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 comfy and content.
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