For several hours a day you’re gone 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 costs you money. You can dramatically lower this cost by adjusting the thermostat up or down before you head to work and resetting it back to your desired temperature when you return home. But how much should you adjust it?
Here’s what the Department of Energy suggests about thermostat changes:
You can save up to 10% a year on HVAC costs by just adjusting 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 cooler climates than for those in more severe climates.
The lower the variation between the both temperatures, the less expensive your complete cooling bill will be. You can easily save energy through the winter by adjusting the thermostat to something like 68°F while you're awake and adjusting it down while you're in bed or away from home. In the summer, you can follow the same strategy with central air conditioning by having your house warmer than normal when you are gone and setting the thermostat to a setting as high as is comfortable for you when you're home and want cooling and to provide humidity control if necessary.
You might have been told that these kinds of adjustments aren’t worth it because your HVAC has to work harder to get back to your favored temperature, reversing your savings, but the energy department suggests this isn't true, namely 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 setting your thermostat each time you head to work, it’s not hard 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 shift to a different 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 especially helpful if you’ve forgotten to adjust the setting before going on a long trip.
Don't Forget the Pets
If you have a pet, think about their comfort too. Cats and dogs with thick fur won’t be as happy with high temperatures. And pets with less dense fur may not be comfortable with cold temperatures. The same applies to tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Since temperature tolerances vary universally by breed and species, so it helps to verify the ideal temperature range for your pets.
More Perks of Adjusting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The more often you use your heating and cooling, the more carbon emissions you generate. Saving energy reduces air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overusing your heating and cooling can reduce its life expectancy and cause more maintenance to be needed. 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 features, or if you require HVAC repair or maintenance, call the professionals at Matz-Rightway, a big company with local heart. We’re enthusiastic 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 comfy and satisfied.
Experts — it’s in our name and core to our service. We strive to help each member of our staff become a skilled craftsman. We hire the best and offer education, opportunities and support, so everyone can learn, grow and be ready for any challenge in front of them.
Our total business strength and people separate us from other service companies. With more than 4,000 team members working together, we can deliver and innovate more successfully than the rest of the industry. Our positive, family-friendly attitude energizes our teamwork and helps us get the job done in a timely manner, and right — the first time.
Our fusion of company size and individual expertise means we can do more with the next amazing idea … which could come from anywhere and anyone. We are helping transform the industry by utilizing 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 term, through the busy times and beyond.
We are Matz-Rightway! Offering strength, knowledge and support across every season.