For plenty of hours a day you’re off at work, or perhaps at school. Yet your comfort system keeps going and going, despite the house being empty. This needs a good deal of energy and feels like wasting money. You can considerably reduce this cost by setting the thermostat up or down as you head to work and adjusting it back to your preferred temperature when you come home. But how much should you adjust the temperature?
Here’s what the Department of Energy says about thermostat adjustments:
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 usual setting. The percentage of savings from setback is larger for buildings in more temperate climates than for those in more dynamic climates.
The lower the variation between the outdoor and indoor temperatures, the lower your total cooling bill should be. You can effectively save energy in the winter by lowering the thermostat to around 68°F while you're awake and setting it lower while you're sleeping or away from home. For summer, you can follow the same approach with central air conditioning by having your house warmer than normal when you are away and tweaking the thermostat to a setting as warm as you're comfortable with when you are at home and want cooling and to provide humidity control if needed.
You could have been told that making these adjustments aren’t worth it because your heating and cooling has to work even harder to go back to your favored temperature, using up your savings, but the energy department puts that notion to rest, 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
Despite the benefits of setting your thermostat any time you leave for work, it’s very easy to miss in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one perk of programmable and smart thermostats. You can direct your thermostat to automatically move to a higher or lower temperature across your typical work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can change the temperature (or the programming schedule) remotely. This is particularly helpful if you’ve neglected to change the setting before going on a long trip.
Always Remember the Pets
If you have pets at home, think about their comfort as well. Cats and dogs with dense fur won’t be comfortable with high temperatures. And pets with less dense fur might not be comfortable with cold temperatures. The same goes for tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Because temperature tolerances differ universally by breed and species, look them up for your pets.
Other Perks of Changing Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The more you operate your HVAC system, the more carbon emissions you generate. Conserving energy reduces air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Demanding too much from your HVAC system can reduce its life expectancy and cause additional maintenance to be needed. It also means the air filter can clog up faster, making your indoor air supply worse.
If you have any questions about your air conditioner settings, or if you are looking for HVAC repair or maintenance, get in touch with the professionals at TML Service Experts, a big company with local heart. We’re serious 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 cozy and contented.
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