For many hours a day you’re off at work, or perhaps at school. Yet your heating or air conditioning keeps working, despite the house being empty. This uses a lot of energy and feels like wasting money. You can dramatically reduce this cost by changing the thermostat up or down before you leave for work and adjusting it back to your preferred 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 HVAC costs by just adjusting your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day from its typical setting. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in milder climates than for those in more extreme climates.
The smaller the contrast between the outdoor and indoor temperatures, the lower your total cooling bill should be. You can comfortably save energy through the winter by lowering the thermostat to about 68°F while you're awake and adjusting it down while you're sleeping or away from home. During the summer, you can use the same approach with central air conditioning by leaving your house warmer than normal when you are gone and tweaking the thermostat to a setting as high as you're comfortable with when you are at home and want cooling and to provide humidity control if needed.
You could have been told that these kinds of adjustments aren’t worth the time because your heating and cooling has to work harder to get back to your preferred temperature, reversing your savings, but the energy department suggests this isn't true, especially for a furnace: “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 changing your thermostat each time you head to work, it’s easy to miss in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one advantage of programmable and smart thermostats. You can adjust your thermostat to automatically move to a higher or lower temperature across your typical 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 forgotten to adjust the setting before leaving for a trip.
Don't Forget the Pets
If you have a pet, consider their comfort too. Cats and dogs with heavy fur won’t be as happy with high temperatures. And pets with short fur may not be comfortable with cold temperatures. The same goes for tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Since temperature tolerances differ significantly by breed and species, so it helps to verify the ideal temperature range for your pets.
More Perks of Setting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The more often you operate your heating and air conditioning, the more carbon emissions you generate. Saving energy minimizes air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overusing your heating and cooling can cut its life expectancy and cause additional maintenance to be required. It also means the air filter will clog up sooner, making your air less clean.
If you have any ideas about your air conditioner settings, or if you are looking for HVAC repair or maintenance, call the pros at Broad Ripple Service Experts, a big company with hometown 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 run, we take great pride in keeping our customers and communities comfortable and satisfied.
Experts — it’s in the name and central to our business. We strive to help each technician or installer become a skilled craftsman. We hire the best and provide instruction, opportunities and support, so our staff can learn, develop and be ready for any challenge they're faced with.
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Our fusion of company size and individual expertise means we can offer more with the next amazing idea … which may come from anywhere and anyone. We are reinventing the industry by supporting each team member’s greatest ideas. That means our teams and customers can relax knowing we’re moving, innovating, delivering, and in it for the long run, through the busiest times and beyond.
We are Broad Ripple Service Experts! Delivering strength, knowledge and support through every season.