For many hours a day you’re away at work, or possibly at school. Yet your HVAC system keeps going and going, with nobody home. This uses a good deal of energy and wastes money. You can dramatically reduce this cost by setting the thermostat up or down as you head to work and adjusting 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 settings:
You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling bills by simply adjusting your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day from its usual setting. The percentage of savings from setback is larger for buildings in milder climates than for those in more severe climates.
The tinier the contrast between the both temperatures, the less expensive your overall cooling bill can be. You can comfortably save energy in the winter by adjusting the thermostat to about 68°F while you're awake and setting it lower while you're sleeping or away from home. In the summer, you can practice the same approach 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're home and want cooling and to secure humidity control if required.
You might have been told that making these adjustments are not worth the time because your heating and cooling has to work even harder to get back to your desired temperature, undoing your savings, but the energy department puts that notion to rest, especially 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
Even with the benefits of changing your thermostat each time you go to work, it’s very easy to overlook 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 shift to a higher or lower temperature during your regular work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can adjust the temperature (or the programming schedule) from anywhere. This is especially helpful if you’ve neglected to fix the setting before going on a long trip.
Always Remember the Pets
If you have pets at home, consider their comfort too. Cats and dogs with thick fur won’t be comfortable with high temperatures. And pets with less dense fur may not be comfortable with cold temperatures. The same goes for tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Because temperature preferences deviate universally by breed and species, look them up for your pets.
More Advantages of Changing Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The more you use your heating and cooling, the more carbon emissions you produce. Conserving energy reduces air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Demanding too much from your heating and cooling can diminish its longevity and cause increased maintenance to be necessary. It also means the air filter will clog up sooner, making your indoor air supply worse.
If you have any concerns about your air conditioner settings, or if you are looking for HVAC repair or maintenance, contact the pros at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, a big company with hometown 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 run, we take great pride in keeping our customers and communities cozy and contented.
Experts — it’s in our name and core to our work. We work tirelessly to help each member of our staff develop into a skilled craftsman. We hire the best and provide education, opportunities and support, so our teams can learn, grow and be prepared for any challenge they're faced with.
Our total business strength and people make us special. With over 4,000 team members collaborating on making you comfortable, we can deliver and innovate more successfully than the competition. Our can-do, neighborly attitude energizes our cooperation and helps us get the job done on time, and right — the first time.
Our blend of company size and personal expertise means we can offer more with the next big idea … which may come from anywhere and anyone. We are helping transform the industry by utilizing each team member’s best ideas. That means our teams and customers can relax knowing we’re moving, innovating, delivering, and in it for the long term, through the busier times and beyond.
We are Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning! Delivering strength, knowledge and support over every season.