How Should I Set My Thermostat for When I'm At Work?
For many hours a day you’re away at work, or maybe at school. Yet your HVAC system keeps working, without anybody home. This uses a lot of energy and feels like wasting money. You can dramatically reduce this cost by changing the thermostat up or down when you leave for work and setting it back to your favored temperature when you come home. But how much should you adjust the temperature?
Here’s what the Department of Energy suggests about thermostat adjustments:
You can save around 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply setting your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day compared to its usual setting. The percentage of savings from setback is larger for buildings in cooler climates than for those in more extreme climates.
The lower the variation between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the more affordable your total cooling bill can be. You can comfortably save energy during the winter by setting the thermostat to about 68°F while you're awake and adjusting it lower while you're in bed or away from home. For summer, you can use the same plan with central air conditioning by leaving your house warmer than normal when you are at work and tweaking the thermostat to a setting as warm as is comfortable for you when you're home and want cooling and to secure humidity control if needed.
You could have been told that doing these adjustments aren’t worth it because your heating and cooling has to work even harder to go back to your desired temperature, reversing 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 changing your thermostat every time you head to work, it’s not hard to overlook in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one perk of programmable and smart thermostats. You can instruct your thermostat to automatically move to a higher or lower temperature through your average work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can adjust the temperature (or the programming schedule) remotely. This is particularly helpful if you’ve forgotten to fix the setting before leaving for a trip.
Always Remember the Pets
If you have pets at home, consider their comfort too. Cats and dogs with heavy fur won’t be as happy with high temperatures. And pets with less fur won't always be comfortable with cold temperatures. The same applies to tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Considering temperature tolerances deviate significantly by breed and species, look them up for your pets.
Other Advantages of Setting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The harder you run your heating and cooling, the more carbon emissions you generate. Saving energy minimizes air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overusing your heating and cooling can diminish its life span and cause more maintenance to be necessary. It also means the air filter will clog up more quickly, making your indoor air quality worse.
If you have any questions about your air conditioner options, or if you need HVAC repair or maintenance, call the professionals at Becht/Givens Service Experts, a big company with homegrown heart. We’re serious about making the world a cozy 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 cozy and contented.
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