For plenty of hours a day you’re off at work, or maybe at school. Yet your HVAC system keeps working, despite the house being empty. This uses a ton of energy and feels like wasting money. You can significantly lower this cost by adjusting the thermostat up or down when you head to work and resetting it back to your favored temperature when you return home. But how much should you adjust the temperature?
Here’s what the Department of Energy says about thermostat adjustments:
You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling bills by simply turning your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day from its normal setting. The percentage of savings from setback is better for buildings in cooler climates than for those in more dynamic climates.
The lower the variation between the both temperatures, the lower your overall 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 asleep or away from home. In the summer, you can follow the same plan 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're comfortable with when you return and want cooling and to provide humidity control if necessary.
You may have been advised that these kinds of adjustments aren’t worth the time because your comfort system has to work extra hard to get back to your favored temperature, using up 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 changing your thermostat each time you leave for work, it’s very easy 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 shift to a higher or lower temperature during your typical work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can change the temperature (or the programming schedule) from anywhere. This is very helpful if you’ve neglected to adjust the setting before leaving for a trip.
Remember the Pets
If you have pets at home, give consideration to their comfort too. Cats and dogs with dense fur won’t be comfy with high temperatures. And pets with less fur may not be pleased with cold temperatures. The same is true of tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Because temperature tolerances deviate widely by breed and species, so it helps to verify the ideal temperature range for your pets.
Other Advantages of Adjusting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The more you run your heating and air conditioning, the more carbon emissions you generate. Saving energy minimizes air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Demanding too much from your HVAC unit can cut its life expectancy and cause additional maintenance to be needed. It also means the air filter can clog up faster, making your air less clean.
If you have any ideas about your air conditioner settings, or if you require HVAC repair or maintenance, contact the specialists at Levy & Son Service Experts, a big company with homegrown heart. We’re serious about making the world a comfortable 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 comfortable and contented.
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