For many hours a day you’re gone at work, or maybe at school. Yet your HVAC system keeps working, with nobody home. This uses a lot of energy and costs you money. You can dramatically lower this cost by changing the thermostat up or down when you head to work and resetting it back to your favored temperature when you return home. But how much should you adjust it?
Here’s what the Department of Energy says about thermostat changes:
You can save around 10% a year on heating and cooling by just turning your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day from its typical setting. The percentage of savings from setback is larger for buildings in milder climates than for those in more dynamic climates.
The smaller the variation between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the less expensive your overall cooling bill should be. You can easily save energy through the winter by lowering the thermostat to something like 68°F while you're awake and adjusting it lower while you're asleep or away from home. During the summer, you can follow the same approach with central air conditioning by leaving your house warmer than normal when you are at work and adjusting the thermostat to a setting as high as you're comfortable with when you're home and want cooling and to provide humidity control if necessary.
You might have been advised that making these adjustments won't be worth the effort because your HVAC has to work harder to go back to your favored temperature, using up your savings, but the energy department dismisses that claim, 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
Even with the benefits of adjusting your thermostat every time you head to work, it’s easy to miss 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 another temperature during your regular work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can increase or decrease the temperature (or the programming schedule) remotely. This is very helpful if you’ve neglected to change the setting before going on vacation.
Don't Forget the Pets
If you have a pet, consider their comfort too. Cats and dogs with dense fur won’t be as happy with high temperatures. And pets with less fur won't always be pleased with cold temperatures. The same applies to tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Because temperature tolerances deviate widely by breed and species, so it helps to verify the ideal temperature range for your pets.
Other Perks of Changing Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The harder you operate your heating and air conditioning, the more carbon emissions you produce. Conserving energy decreases air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overworking your HVAC unit can reduce its life span and cause additional maintenance to be needed. It also means the air filter can clog up faster, making your indoor air quality worse.
If you have any questions about your air conditioner options, or if you are looking for HVAC repair or maintenance, get in touch with the specialists at Climate Control Service Experts, a big company with hometown heart. We’re passionate about making the world a comfy 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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