For several hours a day you’re gone at work, or perhaps at school. Yet your HVAC system keeps going and going, despite the house being empty. This needs a ton of energy and feels like wasting money. You can considerably reduce this cost by adjusting the thermostat up or down when you leave for work and adjusting it back to your favored temperature when you get home. But how much should you adjust the temperature?
Here’s what the Department of Energy has to say about thermostat changes:
You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day compared to its normal setting. The percentage of savings from setback is larger for buildings in cooler climates than for those in more severe climates.
The smaller the variation between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the less expensive your complete cooling bill will be. You can effectively save energy during the winter by setting the thermostat to something like 68°F while you're awake and adjusting it lower while you're in bed or away from home. During the summer, you can use the same plan with central air conditioning by having your house warmer than normal when you are gone and setting the thermostat to a setting as high as you're comfortable with when you are at home and want cooling and to provide humidity control if necessary.
You could have been told that these kinds of adjustments are not worth it because your HVAC has to work even harder to go back to your preferred temperature, undoing your savings, but the energy department suggests this isn't true, namely 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 leave for work, it’s very easy to overlook in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one perk of programmable and smart thermostats. You can adjust your thermostat to automatically change to a different temperature through your regular work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can adjust the temperature (or the programming schedule) from your smartphone or similar device. This is very helpful if you’ve neglected to change the setting before going on a long trip.
Remember the Pets
If you have pets at home, give consideration to their comfort too. Cats and dogs with dense fur won’t be comfortable with high temperatures. And pets with short fur may not be comfortable with cold temperatures. The same applies to tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Considering temperature preferences vary significantly by breed and species, look them up for your pets.
Additional Advantages of Setting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The more often you operate your HVAC system, the more carbon emissions you produce. Preserving energy reduces air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Demanding too much from your HVAC unit can diminish its life expectancy and cause increased maintenance to be required. It also means the air filter may clog up sooner, making your air less clean.
If you have any ideas about your air conditioner settings, or if you need HVAC repair or maintenance, call the professionals at Wesley Wood Service Experts, a big company with homegrown heart. We’re passionate about making the world a comfortable 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.
Experts — it’s in the name and central to our business. We work hard to help each technician or installer become a skilled craftsman. We work with the best and supply instruction, opportunities and assistance, so our staff can learn, develop and be equipped for any kind of challenge thrown their way.
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