For plenty of hours a day you’re gone at work, or maybe at school. Yet your HVAC system keeps working, despite the house being empty. This uses a good deal of energy and wastes money. You can considerably reduce this cost by adjusting the thermostat up or down before you head to work and setting it back to your preferred temperature when you return home. But how much should you adjust it?
Here’s what the Department of Energy suggests about thermostat adjustments:
You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling bills by simply setting your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day rather than its normal setting. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in more temperate climates than for those in more dynamic climates.
The lower the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the more affordable your complete cooling bill should be. You can easily save energy through the winter by adjusting the thermostat to about 68°F while you're awake and turning it down while you're asleep or away from home. For summer, you can follow the same strategy with central air conditioning by leaving your house warmer than normal when you are away and adjusting the thermostat to a setting as warm as you're comfortable with when you return and want cooling and to ensure humidity control if needed.
You may have been told that making these adjustments won't be worth the effort because your heating and cooling has to work even harder to return to your preferred temperature, undoing your savings, but the energy department dismisses that claim, namely 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 every time you go to work, it’s very easy to miss 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 shift to a higher or lower temperature across your regular work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can increase or decrease the temperature (or the programming schedule) remotely. This is particularly 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 dense fur won’t be comfortable with high temperatures. And pets with less fur won't always be comfortable with cold temperatures. The same applies to tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Since temperature preferences differ significantly by breed and species, so review them for your pets.
Other Perks of Adjusting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The harder you use your heating and air conditioning, the more carbon emissions you generate. Conserving energy minimizes air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Demanding too much from your heating and cooling can cut its life span 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 questions about your air conditioner settings, or if you require HVAC repair or maintenance, contact the professionals at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, a big company with local heart. We’re serious about making the world a comfortable place to live. Whether we’re warming, cooling or making the water run, we have a lot of pride in keeping our customers and communities comfy and satisfied.
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