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

For many hours a day you’re off at work, or perhaps at school. Yet your HVAC system continues to run, without anybody home. This uses a ton of energy and costs you money. You can considerably scale back this cost by changing the thermostat up or down as you go to work and resetting it back to your favored temperature when you get home. But how much should you adjust it?

Here’s what the Department of Energy has to say about thermostat settings:

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

The smaller the contrast between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the less expensive your total cooling bill can be. You can easily save energy in the winter by adjusting the thermostat to around 68°F while you're awake and turning it down while you're asleep or away from home. For summer, you can use 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 warm as is comfortable for you when you're home and want cooling and to ensure humidity control if needed.

You might have been informed that doing these adjustments won't be worth it because your HVAC has to work harder to get back to your desired temperature, undoing your savings, but the energy department dismisses that claim, particularly 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 adjusting your thermostat each time you head to work, it’s easy to forget in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one advantage of programmable and smart thermostats. You can instruct your thermostat to automatically change 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 heavy fur won’t be comfy with high temperatures. And pets with less dense fur might not be comfortable with cold temperatures. The same goes for tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Because temperature tolerances deviate significantly by breed and species, look them up for your pets.

Additional Benefits of Adjusting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away

  • Carbon emissions - The harder you operate your HVAC system, the more carbon emissions you generate. Conserving energy decreases air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
  • HVAC Longevity - Overworking your HVAC system can cut its life span and cause more maintenance to be required. It also means the air filter will clog up faster, making your air less clean.

If you have any ideas about your air conditioner features, or if you require HVAC repair or maintenance, call the pros at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, a big company with hometown heart. We’re enthusiastic about making the world a comfortable place to live. Whether we’re warming, cooling or making the water run, we take great pride in keeping our customers and communities comfortable and content.

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