For plenty of hours a day you’re gone at work, or perhaps at school. Yet your heating or air conditioning keeps working, with nobody home. This uses up a good deal of energy and wastes money. You can dramatically scale back this cost by adjusting the thermostat up or down before you head to work and setting it back to your favored temperature when you get home. But how much should you adjust it?
Here’s what the Department of Energy says about thermostat changes:
You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling bills by just adjusting 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 milder climates than for those in more dynamic climates.
The tinier the variation between the outdoor and indoor temperatures, the less expensive your complete cooling bill can be. You can effectively save energy during the winter by lowering the thermostat to around 68°F while you're awake and turning 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 away and tweaking the thermostat to a setting as high as you're comfortable with when you're home and want cooling and to ensure humidity control if required.
You could have been informed that doing these adjustments aren’t worth the time because your HVAC has to work extra hard to go back to your preferred temperature, reversing your savings, but the energy department puts that notion to rest, particularly 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
Despite the benefits of changing your thermostat any time you leave for work, it’s easy to forget in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one benefit of programmable and smart thermostats. You can direct your thermostat to automatically shift to a different temperature across your average work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can increase or decrease the temperature (or the programming schedule) remotely. This is especially helpful if you’ve neglected to adjust the setting before going on vacation.
Remember the Pets
If you have pets at home, think about their comfort as well. Cats and dogs with dense fur won’t be as happy with high temperatures. And pets with less fur won't always be happy with cold temperatures. The same goes for tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Because temperature tolerances differ universally by breed and species, so it helps to verify the ideal temperature range for your pets.
More Benefits of Adjusting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The more often you operate your HVAC system, the more carbon emissions you generate. Conserving energy decreases air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Demanding too much from your HVAC system can reduce its life span and cause additional maintenance to be required. It also means the air filter will clog up sooner, making your air less clean.
If you have any questions about your air conditioner settings, or if you need HVAC repair or maintenance, contact the professionals at BW/Cook Service Experts, a big company with homegrown heart. We’re passionate about making the world a comfortable place to live. Whether we’re warming, cooling or making the water run, we take great pride in keeping our customers and communities comfortable and contented.
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