How Should I Set My Thermostat for When I'm At Work?

For plenty of hours a day you’re gone at work, or perhaps at school. Yet your heating or air conditioning keeps working, without anybody home. This uses a lot of energy and costs you money. You can considerably scale back this cost by adjusting the thermostat up or down as you leave for work and setting it back to your favored temperature when you return home. But how much should you adjust the temperature?

Here’s what the Department of Energy says about thermostat changes:

You can save as much as 10% a year on HVAC costs by simply setting your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day compared to its usual setting. The percentage of savings from setback is better for buildings in more temperate climates than for those in more extreme climates.

The tinier the difference between the outdoor and indoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill should be. You can effectively save energy during the winter by setting the thermostat to around 68°F while you're awake and turning it down while you're sleeping or away from home. For summer, you can follow the same plan with central air conditioning by having your house warmer than normal when you are away and tweaking the thermostat to a setting as high as you're comfortable with when you're home and want cooling and to provide humidity control if needed.

You might have been told that these kinds of adjustments are not worth it because your HVAC has to work even harder to get back to your preferred temperature, using up your savings, but the energy department dismisses that claim, 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 adjusting your thermostat any time you go to work, it’s very easy to forget in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one benefit of programmable and smart thermostats. You can adjust your thermostat to automatically change to a higher or lower temperature during your standard work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can change the temperature (or the programming schedule) remotely. This is particularly helpful if you’ve neglected to fix the setting before leaving for a trip.

Remember the Pets

If you own pets, consider their comfort too. Cats and dogs with dense fur won’t be comfy with high temperatures. And pets with short fur may not be happy with cold temperatures. The same applies to tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Considering temperature tolerances vary widely by breed and species, so it helps to verify the ideal temperature range for your pets.

Additional Advantages of Setting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away

  • Carbon emissions - The harder you run your HVAC system, the more carbon emissions you generate. Preserving energy reduces air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
  • HVAC Longevity - Demanding too much from your HVAC unit can reduce its life expectancy and cause additional maintenance to be required. It also means the air filter will clog up faster, making your indoor air supply worse.

If you have any concerns about your air conditioner settings, or if you require HVAC repair or maintenance, get in touch with the specialists at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, 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 satisfied.

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