For several hours a day you’re off at work, or perhaps at school. Yet your heating or air conditioning keeps working, despite the house being empty. This uses up a lot of energy and costs you money. You can considerably reduce this cost by adjusting the thermostat up or down when you head to work and setting 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 has to say about thermostat adjustments:
You can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling by just adjusting your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day rather than its typical setting. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in cooler climates than for those in more dynamic climates.
The smaller the contrast between the outdoor and indoor temperatures, the less expensive your complete cooling bill can be. You can easily save energy in the winter by lowering the thermostat to about 68°F while you're awake and adjusting it lower while you're asleep or away from home. In the summer, you can use the same plan 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 can manage comfortably when you are at home and want cooling and to provide humidity control if required.
You may have been advised that making these adjustments won't be worth it because your comfort system has to work harder to go back to your preferred temperature, reversing your savings, but the energy department dismisses that claim, particularly 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 every time you head to work, it’s not hard 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 move to another temperature across your standard 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 change the setting before leaving for a trip.
Don't Forget the Pets
If you own pets, give consideration to their comfort as well. Cats and dogs with heavy fur won’t be comfy with high temperatures. And pets with less dense fur might not be comfortable with cold temperatures. The same applies to tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Because temperature tolerances differ widely by breed and species, look them up for your pets.
Additional Advantages of Changing Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The more you operate your heating and cooling, the more carbon emissions you generate. Preserving energy minimizes air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Demanding too much from your heating and cooling can diminish its life expectancy and cause additional maintenance to be required. It also means the air filter will clog up faster, making your indoor air quality worse.
If you have any ideas about your air conditioner features, or if you require HVAC repair or maintenance, get in touch with the specialists at Bob Brown Service Experts, a big company with hometown heart. We’re enthusiastic 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 content.
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