For many hours a day you’re gone at work, or perhaps at school. Yet your comfort system keeps going and going, with nobody home. This needs a lot of energy and feels like wasting money. You can dramatically scale back this cost by changing the thermostat up or down before you head to work and adjusting it back to your favored temperature when you come home. But how much should you adjust it?
Here’s what the Department of Energy has to say about thermostat settings:
You can save around 10% a year on heating and cooling by just setting your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day compared to its usual setting. The percentage of savings from setback is larger for buildings in more temperate climates than for those in more severe climates.
The smaller the contrast between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the more affordable your complete cooling bill should be. You can easily save energy in the winter by lowering the thermostat to something like 68°F while you're awake and turning it down while you're in bed or away from home. In the summer, you can practice the same strategy 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 is comfortable for you when you return and want cooling and to ensure humidity control if needed.
You may have been informed that these kinds of adjustments are not worth it because your HVAC has to work extra hard to go back to your desired temperature, reversing your savings, but the energy department suggests this isn't true, especially 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
Even with the benefits of adjusting your thermostat every time you head to work, it’s not hard to forget in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one advantage of programmable and smart thermostats. You can instruct your thermostat to automatically change to a higher or lower temperature during your standard work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can change the temperature (or the programming schedule) remotely. This is very helpful if you’ve neglected to adjust the setting before leaving for a trip.
Remember the Pets
If you have a pet, consider their comfort too. 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. Since temperature preferences vary significantly by breed and species, so it helps to verify the ideal temperature range for your pets.
Additional Perks of Changing Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The harder you use your heating and air conditioning, the more carbon emissions you generate. Preserving energy decreases air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Demanding too much from your HVAC system can reduce its life span and cause increased maintenance to be required. It also means the air filter can clog up faster, making your indoor air quality worse.
If you have any concerns about your air conditioner options, or if you need 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 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 content.
Experts — it’s in our name and core to our work. We strive to help each technician or installer develop into a skilled craftsman. We hire the best and offer training, opportunities and support, so everyone can learn, develop and be ready for every challenge in front of them.
Our united business strength and people distinguish us from the competition. With over 4,000 team members collaborating on making you comfortable, we can deliver and innovate better than the rest of the industry. Our can-do, family attitude powers our cooperation and helps us get the job done promptly, and right — the first time.
Our fusion of company size and individual expertise means we can offer more with the next great idea … which could come from anywhere and anyone. We are reinvigorating the industry by supporting each team member’s greatest ideas. That means our teams and customers can rest easy knowing we’re moving, innovating, delivering, and in it for the long run, through the busy times and beyond.
We are Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning! Giving strength, knowledge and support through every season.