For plenty of hours a day you’re gone at work, or perhaps at school. Yet your comfort system continues to run, despite the house being empty. This uses up a ton of energy and costs you money. You can dramatically reduce this cost by adjusting the thermostat up or down before you leave for work and adjusting it back to your desired temperature when you come home. But how much should you adjust it?
Here’s what the Department of Energy has to say about thermostat changes:
You can save around 10% a year on heating and cooling by just setting your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day compared to its normal setting. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in cooler climates than for those in more extreme climates.
The smaller the contrast between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the more affordable your total cooling bill will be. You can effectively save energy during the winter by setting the thermostat to about 68°F while you're awake and adjusting it down while you're asleep or away from home. During the summer, you can follow the same approach with central air conditioning by having your house warmer than normal when you are away and tweaking the thermostat to a setting as high as you can manage comfortably when you are at home and want cooling and to secure humidity control if necessary.
You may have been informed that these kinds of adjustments are not worth the time because your comfort system has to work harder to go back to your desired temperature, reversing 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
Even with the benefits of setting your thermostat each time you leave for work, it’s easy to miss in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one benefit of programmable and smart thermostats. You can adjust your thermostat to automatically change to another temperature across your typical work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can adjust the temperature (or the programming schedule) remotely. This is particularly helpful if you’ve forgotten to adjust the setting before going on a long 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 comfy with high temperatures. And pets with less fur might not be pleased with cold temperatures. The same goes for tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Since temperature preferences differ widely by breed and species, look them up for your pets.
Additional Perks of Changing Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The harder you operate your heating and air conditioning, the more carbon emissions you generate. Saving energy reduces air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overworking your HVAC system can reduce its longevity and cause more maintenance to be required. It also means the air filter will clog up faster, making your indoor air quality worse.
If you have any questions about your air conditioner features, or if you are looking for HVAC repair or maintenance, call the professionals at Comfort Masters Service Experts, 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 flow, we take great pride in keeping our customers and communities cozy and contented.
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