For many hours a day you’re off at work, or possibly at school. Yet your comfort system keeps working, despite the house being empty. This uses a ton of energy and feels like wasting money. You can dramatically reduce this cost by setting the thermostat up or down before you go to work and adjusting it back to your favored temperature when you get home. But how much should the thermostat be adjusted?
Here’s what the Department of Energy says about thermostat settings:
You can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling bills by simply setting your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day compared to its usual setting. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in cooler climates than for those in more severe climates.
The smaller the contrast between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the more affordable your overall cooling bill should be. You can comfortably save energy during the winter by lowering the thermostat to something like 68°F while you're awake and setting it down while you're sleeping or away from home. In the summer, you can follow the same approach with central air conditioning by having your house warmer than normal when you are at work and adjusting the thermostat to a setting as high as you're comfortable with when you return and want cooling and to provide humidity control if required.
You may have been informed that these kinds of adjustments won't be worth the effort because your heating and cooling has to work harder to go back to your desired temperature, undoing your savings, but the energy department suggests this isn't true, 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
Even with the benefits of changing your thermostat each time you go to work, it’s not hard 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 shift to another temperature through your regular work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can adjust the temperature (or the programming schedule) remotely. This is particularly helpful if you’ve neglected to fix the setting before going on a long trip.
Don't Forget the Pets
If you have pets at home, give consideration to their comfort too. Cats and dogs with thick fur won’t be comfy 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 tolerances differ universally by breed and species, look them up for your pets.
Other Perks of Adjusting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The harder you operate 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 unit can cut its longevity and cause more maintenance to be required. It also means the air filter may clog up sooner, making your air less clean.
If you have any questions about your air conditioner features, or if you need HVAC repair or maintenance, contact the pros at Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air, a big company with local heart. We’re passionate about making the world a comfortable place to live. Whether we’re keeping things warm, cooling things down or making the water flow, we have a lot of pride in keeping our customers and communities comfy and contented.
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