For many hours a day you’re gone at work, or perhaps at school. Yet your comfort system keeps working, with nobody home. This uses a ton of energy and costs you money. You can dramatically scale back this cost by setting the thermostat up or down when you head to work and adjusting it back to your preferred temperature when you come home. But how much should the thermostat be adjusted?
Here’s what the Department of Energy suggests about thermostat adjustments:
You can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling by just turning your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day rather than its normal setting. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in more temperate climates than for those in more extreme climates.
The lower the variation between the both temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill can be. You can effectively save energy in the winter by lowering the thermostat to about 68°F while you're awake and adjusting it lower while you're in bed or away from home. During the summer, you can practice the same approach with central air conditioning by having your house warmer than normal when you are gone and setting the thermostat to a setting as warm as you're comfortable with when you're home and want cooling and to ensure humidity control if needed.
You may have been told that these kinds of adjustments aren’t worth the effort because your comfort system has to work harder to return to your desired temperature, reversing your savings, but the energy department dismisses that claim, 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
Despite the benefits of adjusting your thermostat any time you go to work, it’s not hard to miss in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one benefit of programmable and smart thermostats. You can set your thermostat to automatically change to another temperature through your standard work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can change the temperature (or the programming schedule) remotely. 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 a pet, think about their comfort too. Cats and dogs with heavy fur won’t be comfy with high temperatures. And pets with short fur might not be pleased with cold temperatures. The same is true of tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Since temperature tolerances vary universally by breed and species, so it helps to verify the ideal temperature range for your pets.
More Benefits of Setting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The harder you operate your heating and cooling, the more carbon emissions you generate. Preserving energy minimizes air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overworking your HVAC unit can reduce its life expectancy and cause more maintenance to be required. It also means the air filter may clog up more quickly, making your air less clean.
If you have any ideas about your air conditioner settings, or if you are looking for HVAC repair or maintenance, contact the professionals at Teays Valley Service Experts, a big company with local heart. We’re enthusiastic about making the world a cozy 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 comfy and content.
Experts — it’s in the name and vital to our service. We work hard to help each member of our staff become a skilled professional. We employ the best and supply training, opportunities and reinforcement, so everyone can learn, develop and be equipped for any kind of challenge thrown their way.
Our combined business strength and people separate us from other service companies. With over 4,000 team members collaborating on making you comfortable, we can deliver and innovate better than the competition. Our positive, family attitude powers our teamwork and helps us get the job done in a timely manner, and right — the first time.
Our fusion of company size and personal expertise means we can do more with the next amazing idea … which can come from anywhere and anyone. We are reinventing the industry by utilizing 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 busy times and beyond.
We are Teays Valley Service Experts! Delivering strength, knowledge and support over every season.