For plenty of hours a day you’re off at work, or perhaps at school. Yet your heating or air conditioning keeps working, with nobody home. This uses a lot of energy and feels like wasting money. You can considerably lower this cost by changing the thermostat up or down as you go to work and resetting it back to your favored temperature when you come home. But how much should the thermostat be adjusted?
Here’s what the Department of Energy has to say about thermostat settings:
You can save up to 10% a year on HVAC costs by just turning your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day rather than its normal setting. The percentage of savings from setback is better for buildings in milder climates than for those in more severe climates.
The smaller the difference between the outdoor and indoor temperatures, the more affordable your overall cooling bill can be. You can effectively save energy through the winter by setting the thermostat to something like 68°F while you're awake and turning it lower while you're asleep or away from home. During the summer, you can follow the same approach with central air conditioning by having 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're home and want cooling and to ensure humidity control if needed.
You may have been informed that doing these adjustments aren’t worth the effort because your heating and cooling has to work extra hard to get back to your preferred temperature, reversing your savings, but the energy department puts that notion to rest, namely for a furnace: “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 setting your thermostat any time you go to work, it’s not hard 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 move to a higher or lower temperature across your standard work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can change the temperature (or the programming schedule) from your smartphone or similar device. This is particularly helpful if you’ve forgotten to change the setting before going on vacation.
Don't Forget the Pets
If you have a pet, think about their comfort too. Cats and dogs with heavy fur won’t be comfy with high temperatures. And pets with less dense fur won't always be happy with cold temperatures. The same is true of tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Considering temperature tolerances deviate widely by breed and species, so review them for your pets.
More Perks of Setting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The harder you operate your HVAC system, the more carbon emissions you generate. Conserving energy minimizes air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overworking your heating and cooling can cut its life span and cause increased maintenance to be required. It also means the air filter will clog up more quickly, making your indoor air quality worse.
If you have any questions about your air conditioner features, or if you are looking for HVAC repair or maintenance, contact the pros at Fras-Air/General Service Experts, a big company with hometown heart. We’re serious about making the world a comfortable place to live. Whether we’re keeping things warm, cooling things down or making the water flow, we have a lot of pride in keeping our customers and communities cozy and contented.
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