For plenty of hours a day you’re gone at work, or maybe at school. Yet your comfort system continues to run, with nobody home. This uses a ton of energy and wastes money. You can considerably reduce this cost by adjusting the thermostat up or down when you go to work and adjusting it back to your desired temperature when you get home. But how much should you adjust it?
Here’s what the Department of Energy has to say about thermostat adjustments:
You can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day rather than its usual setting. The percentage of savings from setback is larger for buildings in cooler climates than for those in more dynamic climates.
The smaller the contrast between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the less expensive your total cooling bill will be. You can comfortably save energy during the winter by lowering the thermostat to about 68°F while you're awake and turning it down while you're asleep or away from home. For summer, you can practice 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 is comfortable for you when you're home and want cooling and to ensure humidity control if needed.
You may have been advised that making these adjustments aren’t worth the time because your comfort system has to work even harder to return to your desired temperature, undoing your savings, but the energy department dismisses that claim, namely 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 setting your thermostat every time you go to work, it’s very easy to forget in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one advantage of programmable and smart thermostats. You can direct your thermostat to automatically shift to a different temperature during your regular work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can change the temperature (or the programming schedule) remotely. This is especially helpful if you’ve forgotten to change the setting before going on vacation.
Always Remember the Pets
If you own pets, consider their comfort too. Cats and dogs with thick fur won’t be comfy with high temperatures. And pets with less dense fur may not be happy with cold temperatures. The same is true of tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Considering temperature preferences differ significantly by breed and species, so it helps to verify the ideal temperature range for your pets.
Additional Perks of Setting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The more often you operate your HVAC system, the more carbon emissions you generate. Preserving energy reduces air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overusing your HVAC system can cut its longevity and cause more maintenance to be necessary. It also means the air filter may clog up faster, making your indoor air quality worse.
If you have any concerns about your air conditioner settings, or if you need HVAC repair or maintenance, call the specialists at McKinley Heating 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 flow, we have a lot of pride in keeping our customers and communities comfortable and contented.
Experts — it’s in our name and central to our work. We work hard to help each member of our staff develop into a skilled craftsman. We work with the best and supply training, opportunities and support, so everyone can learn, grow and be equipped for any challenge thrown their way.
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