For several hours a day you’re gone at work, or possibly 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 significantly lower this cost by changing the thermostat up or down when you leave for work and setting it back to your preferred temperature when you return home. But how much should you adjust it?
Here’s what the Department of Energy says about thermostat settings:
You can save around 10% a year on heating and cooling bills by simply adjusting 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 extreme climates.
The lower the difference between the both temperatures, the less expensive your overall cooling bill can be. You can comfortably save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to about 68°F while you're awake and adjusting it down while you're asleep or away from home. In the summer, you can use the same approach with central air conditioning by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are gone and setting the thermostat to a setting as high as you can manage comfortably when you return and want cooling and to secure humidity control if required.
You may have been advised that making these adjustments are not worth the effort because your comfort system has to work extra hard to return to your favored temperature, reversing your savings, but the energy department dismisses that claim, particularly for heaters: “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 changing your thermostat every time you go to work, it’s very easy to overlook in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one advantage of programmable and smart thermostats. You can set your thermostat to automatically move to a different temperature across your standard work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can change the temperature (or the programming schedule) from your smartphone or similar device. This is especially helpful if you’ve neglected to fix the setting before going on a long trip.
Always Remember the Pets
If you have a pet, think about their comfort too. Cats and dogs with dense fur won’t be comfy with high temperatures. And pets with less dense fur might not be pleased with cold temperatures. The same goes for tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Because temperature tolerances differ widely by breed and species, look them up for your pets.
Other Advantages of Adjusting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The harder you run your HVAC system, the more carbon emissions you generate. Preserving energy minimizes air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Demanding too much from your HVAC system can diminish its longevity and cause additional maintenance to be needed. It also means the air filter may clog up faster, making your air less clean.
If you have any ideas about your air conditioner features, or if you are looking for HVAC repair or maintenance, call the professionals at Strogen's Service Experts, a big company with hometown heart. We’re serious about making the world a comfy 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 satisfied.
Experts — it’s in the name and core to our business. We work tirelessly to help each team member develop into a skilled craftsman. We employ the best and supply instruction, opportunities and reinforcement, so our teams can learn, improve and be ready for any challenge thrown their way.
Our united business strength and people make us special. With over 4,000 team members working together, we can deliver and innovate better than the competition. Our enthusiastic, family-friendly attitude fuels our collaboration and helps us get the job done in a timely manner, and right — the first time.
Our fusion of company size and individual expertise means we can offer more with the next big idea … which may come from anywhere and anyone. We are reinvigorating the industry by harnessing each team member’s best ideas. That means our teams and customers can rest assured we’re moving, innovating, delivering, and in it for the long haul, through the busier times and beyond.
We are Strogen's Service Experts! Delivering strength, knowledge and support across every season.