For many hours a day you’re away at work, or maybe at school. Yet your heating or air conditioning continues to run, without anybody home. This needs a good deal of energy and costs you money. You can dramatically reduce this cost by changing the thermostat up or down before you head to work and resetting it back to your desired temperature when you get home. But how much should you adjust the temperature?
Here’s what the Department of Energy suggests about thermostat settings:
You can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling bills by simply adjusting your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day rather than its normal setting. The percentage of savings from setback is larger for buildings in milder climates than for those in more extreme climates.
The tinier the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the more affordable your complete cooling bill can be. You can effectively save energy during the winter by adjusting the thermostat to about 68°F while you're awake and adjusting it lower while you're sleeping or away from home. In the summer, you can use 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 warm as you're comfortable with when you're home and want cooling and to provide humidity control if needed.
You could have been told that doing these adjustments aren’t worth it because your heating and cooling has to work even harder to go back to your desired 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
Despite the benefits of adjusting your thermostat every time you head to work, it’s easy to overlook 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 another temperature across 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 forgotten to change the setting before leaving for a trip.
Don't Forget the Pets
If you have a pet, consider their comfort as well. Cats and dogs with thick fur won’t be as happy with high temperatures. And pets with less fur won't always be happy with cold temperatures. The same applies to tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Considering temperature preferences vary universally by breed and species, look them up for your pets.
More Benefits of Adjusting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The more often you run your heating and cooling, the more carbon emissions you produce. Conserving energy decreases air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Demanding too much from your heating and cooling can cut its life expectancy and cause increased maintenance to be required. It also means the air filter can clog up sooner, making your air less clean.
If you have any concerns about your air conditioner options, or if you require HVAC repair or maintenance, call the specialists at Jack Nelson Service Experts, a big company with local heart. We’re serious about making the world a comfy place to live. Whether we’re keeping things warm, cooling things down or making the water flow, we take great pride in keeping our customers and communities comfortable and contented.
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