For many hours a day you’re gone at work, or perhaps at school. Yet your comfort system keeps going and going, despite the house being empty. This uses a ton of energy and costs you money. You can significantly scale back this cost by adjusting the thermostat up or down as you leave for work and adjusting it back to your preferred temperature when you get home. But how much should the thermostat be adjusted?
Here’s what the Department of Energy suggests about thermostat settings:
You can save up to 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 more temperate climates than for those in more extreme climates.
The tinier the contrast between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your complete cooling bill should be. You can easily save energy during the winter by adjusting the thermostat to something like 68°F while you're awake and adjusting it lower while you're asleep or away from home. In the summer, you can practice the same approach with central air conditioning by leaving your house warmer than normal when you are away and tweaking the thermostat to a setting as warm as is comfortable for you when you return and want cooling and to provide humidity control if necessary.
You could have been informed that making these adjustments won't be worth it because your heating and cooling has to work harder to go back to your desired temperature, using up your savings, but the energy department puts that notion to rest, especially 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
Regardless of the benefits of setting your thermostat any time you head to work, it’s not hard to forget 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 shift to another temperature during your average work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can adjust the temperature (or the programming schedule) from your smartphone or similar device. This is particularly helpful if you’ve neglected to adjust the setting before going on a long trip.
Always Remember the Pets
If you own pets, think about their comfort as well. Cats and dogs with heavy fur won’t be as happy with high temperatures. And pets with short fur won't always be comfortable with cold temperatures. The same goes for tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Considering temperature preferences vary significantly by breed and species, so review them for your pets.
Additional Advantages of Changing Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The harder you run your heating and cooling, the more carbon emissions you generate. Saving energy decreases air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overworking your heating and cooling can reduce its life expectancy and cause additional maintenance to be required. It also means the air filter can clog up faster, making your air less clean.
If you have any ideas about your air conditioner features, or if you need HVAC repair or maintenance, call the pros at Midland Air Service Experts, a big company with homegrown 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 contented.
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