For many hours a day you’re away at work, or possibly at school. Yet your HVAC system continues to run, with nobody home. This needs a ton of energy and feels like wasting money. You can considerably reduce this cost by setting the thermostat up or down as you leave for work and adjusting it back to your favored temperature when you come home. But how much should you adjust it?
Here’s what the Department of Energy says about thermostat changes:
You can save around 10% a year on heating and cooling 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 more temperate climates than for those in more severe climates.
The lower the difference between the both temperatures, the less expensive your total cooling bill will be. You can easily save energy in the winter by adjusting the thermostat to something like 68°F while you're awake and adjusting it lower while you're sleeping or away from home. During the summer, you can practice the same plan with central air conditioning by leaving your house warmer than normal when you are away and tweaking 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 necessary.
You may have been advised that making these adjustments won't be worth the effort because your heating and cooling has to work harder to go back to your preferred temperature, using up your savings, but the energy department suggests this isn't true, especially for heating: “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 adjusting your thermostat each time you head to work, it’s not hard 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 change to a different temperature during your average work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can increase or decrease the temperature (or the programming schedule) from anywhere. This is especially helpful if you’ve neglected to change the setting before going on a long trip.
Always Remember the Pets
If you have pets at home, consider their comfort as well. Cats and dogs with thick fur won’t be as happy with high temperatures. And pets with less dense fur won't always be pleased with cold temperatures. The same goes for tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Considering temperature preferences differ widely by breed and species, look them up for your pets.
More Benefits of Changing Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The harder you use 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 reduce its life expectancy and cause more maintenance to be required. It also means the air filter will clog up faster, making your air less clean.
If you have any concerns about your air conditioner features, or if you need HVAC repair or maintenance, contact the pros at Knochelmann Service Experts, a big company with local 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 have a lot of pride in keeping our customers and communities cozy and satisfied.
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