How Should I Set My Thermostat for When I'm At Work?
For several hours a day you’re gone at work, or perhaps at school. Yet your heating or air conditioning continues to run, despite the house being empty. This uses a ton of energy and costs you money. You can dramatically reduce this cost by changing the thermostat up or down when you go to work and resetting it back to your desired temperature when you get home. But how much should the thermostat be adjusted?
Here’s what the Department of Energy suggests about thermostat settings:
You can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply adjusting your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day rather than its usual setting. The percentage of savings from setback is better for buildings in more temperate climates than for those in more severe climates.
The lower the difference between the both temperatures, the more affordable your complete cooling bill should be. You can easily save energy during the winter by lowering the thermostat to around 68°F while you're awake and turning it lower while you're asleep or away from home. During the summer, you can practice the same strategy with central air conditioning by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are at work and setting the thermostat to a setting as warm as you can manage comfortably when you are at home and want cooling and to provide humidity control if needed.
You might have been told that making these adjustments won't be worth the time because your heating and cooling has to work harder to go back to your favored temperature, undoing your savings, but the energy department dismisses that claim, especially 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 adjusting your thermostat every time you leave for work, it’s easy to forget in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one advantage of programmable and smart thermostats. You can instruct your thermostat to automatically shift to a different temperature during your standard 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 neglected to change the setting before going on vacation.
Don't Forget the Pets
If you have pets at home, think about their comfort as well. Cats and dogs with dense fur won’t be as happy with high temperatures. And pets with short fur may not be comfortable with cold temperatures. The same goes for tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Because temperature tolerances deviate significantly by breed and species, so review them for your pets.
Other Perks of Adjusting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The harder you use your heating and cooling, the more carbon emissions you generate. Preserving energy reduces air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overworking your HVAC unit can diminish its life expectancy and cause more maintenance to be needed. It also means the air filter will clog up sooner, making your air less clean.
If you have any concerns about your air conditioner options, or if you require HVAC repair or maintenance, get in touch with the pros at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, a big company with hometown heart. We’re serious about making the world a comfy 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.
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