For several hours a day you’re gone at work, or possibly at school. Yet your comfort system continues to run, without anybody home. This needs a good deal of energy and costs you money. You can dramatically scale back this cost by changing the thermostat up or down before you go to work and adjusting it back to your preferred temperature when you come 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 turning your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day rather than its typical setting. The percentage of savings from setback is larger for buildings in cooler climates than for those in more dynamic climates.
The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be. You can comfortably save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to about 68°F while you're awake and setting it lower while you're in bed or away from home. For summer, you can follow the same plan with central air conditioning by leaving your house warmer than normal when you are away and tweaking the thermostat to a setting as high as is comfortable for you when you are at home and want cooling and to ensure humidity control if needed.
You may have been informed that these kinds of adjustments won't be worth it because your HVAC has to work extra hard to go back to your favored temperature, undoing your savings, but the energy department suggests this isn't true, 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
Even with the benefits of setting your thermostat any time you head to work, it’s very 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 through your regular work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can increase or decrease the temperature (or the programming schedule) from anywhere. This is especially helpful if you’ve forgotten to adjust the setting before going on a long trip.
Don't Forget the Pets
If you have a pet, consider their comfort as well. Cats and dogs with dense fur won’t be as happy with high temperatures. And pets with less dense fur won't always be comfortable with cold temperatures. The same applies to tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Considering temperature preferences vary universally by breed and species, so review them for your pets.
More Advantages of Adjusting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The more you use your heating and cooling, the more carbon emissions you produce. Preserving energy minimizes air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Demanding too much from your HVAC system can reduce its life expectancy and cause increased maintenance to be necessary. 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 settings, or if you require HVAC repair or maintenance, get in touch with the specialists at A1 Chesney Service Experts, a big company with homegrown heart. We’re passionate about making the world a cozy place to live. Whether we’re keeping things warm, cooling things down or making the water run, we have a lot of pride in keeping our customers and communities comfortable and content.
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