For plenty of hours a day you’re off at work, or possibly at school. Yet your heating or air conditioning keeps going and going, with nobody home. This uses a good deal of energy and costs you money. You can considerably scale back this cost by adjusting the thermostat up or down as you head to work and setting it back to your favored temperature when you get home. But how much should you adjust the temperature?
Here’s what the Department of Energy says about thermostat adjustments:
You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by just turning your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day compared to its typical setting. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in milder climates than for those in more dynamic climates.
The tinier the variation between the outdoor and indoor temperatures, the more affordable your total cooling bill can be. You can easily save energy in the winter by lowering the thermostat to around 68°F while you're awake and setting it down while you're in bed or away from home. During the summer, you can follow the same plan with central air conditioning by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are away and setting the thermostat to a setting as high as you can manage comfortably when you return and want cooling and to ensure humidity control if necessary.
You may have been advised that doing these adjustments won't be worth the effort because your comfort system has to work even harder to return to your preferred temperature, undoing 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
Even with 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 advantage of programmable and smart thermostats. You can direct your thermostat to automatically move to a different temperature through your typical work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can increase or decrease the temperature (or the programming schedule) from anywhere. This is especially helpful if you’ve forgotten to fix the setting before leaving for a trip.
Remember the Pets
If you have a pet, give consideration to their comfort as well. Cats and dogs with heavy fur won’t be comfy with high temperatures. And pets with short fur may not be comfortable with cold temperatures. The same is true of tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Because temperature preferences differ widely by breed and species, look them up for your pets.
Other Advantages of Changing Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The harder you operate your HVAC system, the more carbon emissions you generate. Saving energy decreases air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Demanding too much from your heating and cooling can cut its life expectancy and cause more maintenance to be required. It also means the air filter can clog up sooner, making your indoor air quality worse.
If you have any ideas about your air conditioner options, or if you need HVAC repair or maintenance, get in touch with the pros at Robinson Service Experts , a big company with local heart. We’re passionate about making the world a cozy 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 comfortable and content.
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