For many hours a day you’re gone at work, or maybe at school. Yet your HVAC system continues to run, without anybody home. This uses a ton of energy and costs you money. You can dramatically lower this cost by adjusting the thermostat up or down before you go to work and setting it back to your favored temperature when you return home. But how much should the thermostat be adjusted?
Here’s what the Department of Energy suggests 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 usual setting. The percentage of savings from setback is better for buildings in cooler climates than for those in more dynamic climates.
The lower the contrast between the outdoor and indoor temperatures, the more affordable your total cooling bill can be. You can easily save energy through the winter by setting the thermostat to about 68°F while you're awake and setting it lower while you're asleep or away from home. For summer, you can practice the same strategy with central air conditioning by having your house warmer than normal when you are away and adjusting the thermostat to a setting as warm as you can manage comfortably when you return and want cooling and to secure humidity control if necessary.
You may have been told that making these adjustments won't be worth the time because your comfort system has to work even harder to get back to your desired temperature, undoing your savings, but the energy department puts that notion to rest, particularly 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
Despite the benefits of setting your thermostat any time you head to work, it’s not hard to forget in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one advantage of programmable and smart thermostats. You can direct your thermostat to automatically change to a higher or lower temperature across your regular work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can change the temperature (or the programming schedule) from your smartphone or similar device. This is very helpful if you’ve neglected to adjust the setting before going on vacation.
Remember the Pets
If you have pets at home, consider their comfort too. Cats and dogs with thick fur won’t be comfy with high temperatures. And pets with less dense fur may not be happy with cold temperatures. The same is true of tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Considering temperature tolerances vary universally by breed and species, so review them for your pets.
More Advantages of Changing Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The more you run your heating and cooling, the more carbon emissions you generate. Preserving energy minimizes air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overworking your HVAC system can diminish its life expectancy 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 concerns about your air conditioner features, or if you need HVAC repair or maintenance, get in touch with the pros at Gordon's Service Experts, a big company with local heart. We’re enthusiastic about making the world a comfortable place to live. Whether we’re warming, cooling or making the water run, we have a lot of pride in keeping our customers and communities comfy and satisfied.
Experts — it’s in our name and vital to our business. We work tirelessly to help each member of our staff develop into a skilled craftsman. We work with the best and supply instruction, opportunities and reinforcement, so our staff can learn, grow and be ready for any challenge they're faced with.
Our total business strength and people make us special. With over 4,000 team members collaborating on making you comfortable, we can deliver and innovate more successfully than the rest of the industry. Our positive, family-friendly attitude fuels our cooperation and helps us get the job done promptly, and right — the first time.
Our fusion of company size and unique expertise means we can accomplish more with the next big idea … which can come from anywhere and anyone. We are reinvigorating the industry by harnessing each team member’s greatest ideas. That means our teams and customers can rest easy knowing we’re moving, innovating, delivering, and in it for the long term, through the busier times and beyond.
We are Gordon's Service Experts! Giving strength, knowledge and support across every season.