For several hours a day you’re gone at work, or perhaps at school. Yet your comfort system continues to run, without anybody home. This uses up a good deal of energy and costs you money. You can significantly reduce this cost by changing the thermostat up or down when you go to work and adjusting it back to your preferred temperature when you get home. But how much should the thermostat be adjusted?
Here’s what the Department of Energy has to say about thermostat settings:
You can save as much as 10% a year on HVAC costs by just setting your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day from its normal setting. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in more temperate climates than for those in more severe climates.
The tinier the difference between the outdoor and indoor temperatures, the less expensive your complete cooling bill will be. You can effectively save energy through the winter by adjusting the thermostat to around 68°F while you're awake and setting it lower while you're asleep or away from home. For summer, you can practice the same approach with central air conditioning by having your house warmer than normal when you are away and setting the thermostat to a setting as high as you're comfortable with when you're home and want cooling and to ensure humidity control if needed.
You may have been informed that these kinds of adjustments won't be worth the time because your HVAC has to work even harder to go back to your desired temperature, undoing your savings, but the energy department suggests this isn't true, 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
Despite the benefits of adjusting your thermostat any time you leave for work, it’s not hard to forget in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one perk of programmable and smart thermostats. You can set your thermostat to automatically move to another temperature across your average work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can increase or decrease the temperature (or the programming schedule) from your smartphone or similar device. This is very helpful if you’ve forgotten to change the setting before leaving for a trip.
Don't Forget the Pets
If you have pets at home, consider their comfort too. Cats and dogs with heavy fur won’t be as happy with high temperatures. And pets with less dense fur won't always be pleased with cold temperatures. The same goes for tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Since temperature tolerances vary widely by breed and species, so review them for your pets.
Other Benefits of Changing Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The more often you run your HVAC system, the more carbon emissions you generate. Preserving energy decreases air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Demanding too much from your heating and cooling can reduce its longevity and cause more maintenance to be required. It also means the air filter may clog up more quickly, making your indoor air quality worse.
If you have any ideas about your air conditioner options, or if you are looking for HVAC repair or maintenance, contact the pros at All American Air Service Experts, a big company with homegrown heart. We’re passionate about making the world a cozy place to live. Whether we’re warming, cooling or making the water run, we have a lot of pride in keeping our customers and communities comfy and contented.
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