For several hours a day you’re away at work, or perhaps at school. Yet your HVAC system continues to run, despite the house being empty. This uses a lot of energy and wastes money. You can considerably lower this cost by changing the thermostat up or down before you leave for work and resetting it back to your preferred temperature when you come 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 just 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 milder climates than for those in more dynamic climates.
The smaller the difference between the outdoor and indoor temperatures, the less expensive your overall cooling bill should be. You can effectively save energy in the winter by adjusting the thermostat to about 68°F while you're awake and setting it down while you're asleep or away from home. For summer, you can follow the same plan with central air conditioning by leaving your house warmer than normal when you are at work and adjusting the thermostat to a setting as warm as is comfortable for you when you're home and want cooling and to provide humidity control if necessary.
You might have been informed that making these adjustments won't be worth the effort because your HVAC has to work even harder to return to your desired temperature, undoing 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 changing your thermostat any 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 adjust your thermostat to automatically shift to a higher or lower temperature across your regular 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 change the setting before leaving for a trip.
Always Remember the Pets
If you have a pet, give consideration to their comfort too. Cats and dogs with dense fur won’t be comfy with high temperatures. And pets with less dense fur may not be comfortable with cold temperatures. The same applies to tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Since temperature tolerances deviate universally by breed and species, so review them for your pets.
Other Advantages of Setting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The more you operate your heating and air conditioning, the more carbon emissions you produce. Preserving energy minimizes air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overusing your HVAC unit can diminish its life span and cause additional maintenance to be necessary. It also means the air filter can clog up sooner, making your indoor air supply worse.
If you have any concerns about your air conditioner settings, or if you require HVAC repair or maintenance, call the pros at Epperson Service Experts, a big company with local heart. We’re passionate about making the world a cozy 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 comfortable and satisfied.
Experts — it’s in the name and vital to our service. We strive to help each team member learn to be a skilled craftsman. We hire the best and supply training, opportunities and support, so everyone can learn, develop and be ready for any challenge in front of them.
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Our fusion of company size and personal expertise means we can accomplish more with the next great idea … which could come from anywhere and anyone. We are reinventing the industry by supporting each team member’s most popular ideas. That means our teams and customers can relax knowing we’re moving, innovating, delivering, and in it for the long run, through the busy times and beyond.
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