For plenty of hours a day you’re off at work, or possibly at school. Yet your comfort system keeps going and going, despite the house being empty. This uses a good deal of energy and wastes money. You can considerably reduce this cost by changing the thermostat up or down when you leave for work and resetting it back to your desired temperature when you return home. But how much should the thermostat be adjusted?
Here’s what the Department of Energy says about thermostat changes:
You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling bills by just turning your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day from its typical setting. The percentage of savings from setback is larger for buildings in more temperate climates than for those in more dynamic climates.
The smaller the contrast between the outdoor and indoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be. You can easily save energy in the winter by adjusting the thermostat to about 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 having your house warmer than normal when you are gone and adjusting the thermostat to a setting as warm as you can manage comfortably when you are at home and want cooling and to ensure humidity control if necessary.
You may have been informed that making these adjustments won't be worth the effort because your HVAC has to work extra hard to get back to your desired temperature, using up your savings, but the energy department puts that notion to rest, 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
Regardless of the benefits of changing your thermostat every time you go to work, it’s easy to overlook in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one advantage of programmable and smart thermostats. You can set your thermostat to automatically move to a higher or lower temperature across your standard work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can adjust the temperature (or the programming schedule) from anywhere. This is particularly helpful if you’ve forgotten to adjust the setting before leaving for a trip.
Don't Forget the Pets
If you have a pet, give consideration to their comfort as well. Cats and dogs with thick fur won’t be comfy with high temperatures. And pets with short fur might not be comfortable with cold temperatures. The same goes for tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Considering temperature tolerances deviate widely by breed and species, look them up for your pets.
Other Benefits of Setting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The more you use your HVAC system, the more carbon emissions you produce. Conserving energy decreases air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overusing your heating and cooling can diminish its life expectancy and cause increased maintenance to be required. It also means the air filter can clog up sooner, making your indoor air supply worse.
If you have any questions about your air conditioner settings, or if you need HVAC repair or maintenance, call the specialists at Bryant Heating & Cooling Service Experts, a big company with local 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 take great pride in keeping our customers and communities comfortable and content.
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