For plenty of hours a day you’re gone at work, or possibly at school. Yet your heating or air conditioning keeps going and going, despite the house being empty. This uses a good deal of energy and costs you money. You can dramatically scale back this cost by setting the thermostat up or down as you leave for work and resetting 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 changes:
You can save around 10% a year on heating and cooling bills by just turning your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day compared to its typical setting. The percentage of savings from setback is better for buildings in cooler climates than for those in more extreme climates.
The lower the variation between the outdoor and indoor temperatures, the more affordable your complete cooling bill should be. You can effectively save energy through the winter by lowering the thermostat to around 68°F while you're awake and turning it lower while you're sleeping or away from home. For summer, you can use the same plan with central air conditioning by having your house warmer than normal when you are away and adjusting the thermostat to a setting as high as you can manage comfortably when you're home and want cooling and to ensure humidity control if necessary.
You might have been informed that making these adjustments are not worth the time because your HVAC has to work even harder to go back to your desired temperature, reversing 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 any time you head to work, it’s very easy 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 change to a different temperature through your average work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can increase or decrease the temperature (or the programming schedule) remotely. This is particularly helpful if you’ve forgotten to change the setting before leaving for a trip.
Don't Forget the Pets
If you have a pet, think about their comfort as well. Cats and dogs with thick fur won’t be comfortable with high temperatures. And pets with less dense fur won't always be happy with cold temperatures. The same goes for tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Because temperature tolerances differ universally by breed and species, so it helps to verify the ideal temperature range for your pets.
Other Advantages of Changing Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The harder you run your heating and air conditioning, the more carbon emissions you produce. Preserving energy minimizes air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overworking your HVAC system can reduce its longevity and cause additional maintenance to be necessary. It also means the air filter will clog up more quickly, making your indoor air supply worse.
If you have any concerns about your air conditioner settings, or if you need HVAC repair or maintenance, get in touch with the specialists at Midway Services, a big company with local heart. We’re enthusiastic about making the world a comfy place to live. Whether we’re keeping things warm, cooling things down or making the water run, we take great pride in keeping our customers and communities comfortable and content.
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