For several hours a day you’re off at work, or perhaps at school. Yet your HVAC system continues to run, with nobody home. This uses a good deal of energy and wastes money. You can dramatically lower this cost by setting the thermostat up or down when you go to work and resetting it back to your preferred temperature when you get home. But how much should you adjust the temperature?
Here’s what the Department of Energy suggests about thermostat adjustments:
You can save up to 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 usual setting. The percentage of savings from setback is larger for buildings in more temperate climates than for those in more severe climates.
The lower the contrast between the outdoor and indoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be. You can effectively save energy during the winter by adjusting the thermostat to around 68°F while you're awake and setting it down while you're sleeping or away from home. During the summer, you can use the same strategy with central air conditioning by leaving your house warmer than normal when you are away and setting the thermostat to a setting as high as is comfortable for you when you are at home and want cooling and to provide humidity control if necessary.
You may have been advised that making these adjustments won't be worth the effort because your comfort system has to work extra hard to go back to your preferred temperature, using up your savings, but the energy department dismisses that claim, 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
Even with the benefits of changing your thermostat every time you go to work, it’s easy 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 change to a different temperature through your standard work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can change the temperature (or the programming schedule) remotely. This is very helpful if you’ve neglected to adjust the setting before going on a long trip.
Don't Forget the Pets
If you have a pet, give consideration to their comfort as well. 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 is true of tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Since temperature preferences differ widely by breed and species, look them up for your pets.
More Advantages of Adjusting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The harder you operate your HVAC system, the more carbon emissions you produce. Conserving energy decreases air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overworking your HVAC unit can cut its life span and cause increased maintenance to be needed. It also means the air filter will clog up more quickly, making your indoor air supply worse.
If you have any ideas about your air conditioner options, or if you need HVAC repair or maintenance, contact the professionals at Rolf Griffin Service Experts , a big company with homegrown heart. We’re passionate about making the world a comfy place to live. Whether we’re warming, cooling or making the water run, we take great pride in keeping our customers and communities cozy and content.
Experts — it’s in the name and core to our service. We strive to help each technician or installer become a skilled craftsman. We employ the best and supply training, opportunities and reinforcement, so our staff can learn, grow and be equipped for every challenge thrown their way.
Our combined business strength and people separate us from other service companies. With over 4,000 team members collaborating on making you comfortable, we can deliver and innovate more successfully than the competition. Our can-do, family attitude fuels our teamwork and helps us get the job done promptly, and right — the first time.
Our combination of company size and individual expertise means we can accomplish more with the next big idea … which could come from anywhere and anyone. We are reinventing the industry by harnessing each team member’s best 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.
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