For many hours a day you’re gone at work, or perhaps at school. Yet your heating or air conditioning keeps working, with nobody home. This needs a ton of energy and feels like wasting money. You can dramatically scale back this cost by adjusting the thermostat up or down as you go to work and setting it back to your desired temperature when you get home. But how much should you adjust the temperature?
Here’s what the Department of Energy says 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 rather than its typical setting. The percentage of savings from setback is better for buildings in cooler climates than for those in more dynamic climates.
The tinier the difference between the both temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be. You can comfortably save energy during the winter by setting the thermostat to around 68°F while you're awake and adjusting it lower while you're asleep or away from home. For summer, you can practice the same approach with central air conditioning by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are away and adjusting the thermostat to a setting as warm as is comfortable for you when you are at home and want cooling and to secure humidity control if needed.
You could have been advised that doing these adjustments aren’t worth it because your heating and cooling has to work even harder to return to your favored temperature, undoing your savings, but the energy department puts that notion to rest, namely 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 setting your thermostat every time you head 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 set your thermostat to automatically move to a different temperature through your average work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can increase or decrease 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 leaving for a trip.
Don't Forget 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 might not be pleased with cold temperatures. The same applies to tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Considering temperature preferences deviate widely by breed and species, look them up for your pets.
Additional Benefits of Adjusting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The more often you use your heating and cooling, the more carbon emissions you produce. Conserving energy minimizes air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overusing your HVAC unit can diminish its longevity and cause additional 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 are looking for HVAC repair or maintenance, get in touch with the professionals at Donelson Air Service Experts, a big company with hometown heart. We’re enthusiastic about making the world a comfortable place to live. Whether we’re warming, cooling or making the water run, we have a lot of pride in keeping our customers and communities comfortable and satisfied.
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