For several hours a day you’re off at work, or perhaps at school. Yet your heating or air conditioning continues to run, without anybody home. This uses up a ton of energy and wastes money. You can dramatically lower this cost by setting the thermostat up or down before you go to work and setting it back to your preferred temperature when you get home. But how much should you adjust it?
Here’s what the Department of Energy has to say about thermostat adjustments:
You can save around 10% a year on heating and cooling bills by just turning your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day rather than its normal setting. The percentage of savings from setback is better for buildings in milder climates than for those in more dynamic climates.
The lower the variation between the both temperatures, the less expensive your total cooling bill will be. You can comfortably save energy during the winter by adjusting the thermostat to about 68°F while you're awake and adjusting it lower while you're in bed or away from home. During the summer, you can use the same plan 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're comfortable with when you are at home and want cooling and to ensure humidity control if necessary.
You may have been advised that doing these adjustments aren’t worth it because your HVAC has to work even harder to get back to your preferred temperature, reversing 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
Despite the benefits of setting your thermostat every time you head to work, it’s easy to miss in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one benefit of programmable and smart thermostats. You can instruct your thermostat to automatically move to a higher or lower temperature through your typical work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can increase or decrease the temperature (or the programming schedule) from anywhere. This is particularly helpful if you’ve forgotten to fix the setting before leaving for a trip.
Don't Forget the Pets
If you own pets, give consideration to their comfort too. Cats and dogs with heavy fur won’t be comfortable with high temperatures. And pets with less fur may not be happy with cold temperatures. The same applies to tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Because temperature preferences vary universally by breed and species, so it helps to verify the ideal temperature range for your pets.
Other 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. Saving energy minimizes air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overworking your HVAC system can cut its longevity and cause increased maintenance to be required. It also means the air filter may clog up more quickly, making your indoor air quality worse.
If you have any ideas about your air conditioner settings, or if you are looking for HVAC repair or maintenance, get in touch with the specialists at Rob's Albertan 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 comfortable and content.
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