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 a lot of energy and feels like wasting money. You can dramatically reduce this cost by adjusting the thermostat up or down before you go to work and resetting it back to your favored temperature when you get home. But how much should you adjust the temperature?
Here’s what the Department of Energy has to say about thermostat settings:
You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling bills by simply turning your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day from its normal setting. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in milder climates than for those in more severe climates.
The smaller the contrast between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the less expensive your overall cooling bill can be. You can effectively save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to around 68°F while you’re awake and turning it lower while you’re asleep or away from home. In the summer, you can use the same strategy with central air conditioning by leaving your house warmer than normal when you are gone and adjusting the thermostat to a setting as high as you can manage comfortably when you are at home and want cooling and to secure humidity control if needed.
You may have been told that doing these adjustments aren’t worth it because your comfort system has to work harder to get back to your preferred temperature, undoing your savings, but the energy department puts that notion to rest, particularly 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.”
Regardless of the benefits of adjusting your thermostat every time you leave for 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 set your thermostat to automatically move to a different temperature across your regular work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can change the temperature (or the programming schedule) from anywhere. This is particularly helpful if you’ve forgotten to change the setting before going on vacation.
If you have pets at home, consider their comfort too. Cats and dogs with thick fur won’t be as happy with high temperatures. And pets with short fur may not be happy with cold temperatures. The same applies to tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Since temperature tolerances vary widely by breed and species, look them up for your pets.
If you have any questions about your air conditioner settings, or if you need HVAC repair or maintenance, call the professionals at Stevenson Service Experts, a big company with local 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 comfortable and satisfied.
Experts — it’s in our name and vital to our business. We strive to help each team member become a skilled craftsman. We hire the best and offer training, opportunities and support, so our teams can learn, improve and be prepared for any challenge in front of them.
Our combined business strength and people separate us from other service companies. With over 4,000 team members on board, we can deliver and innovate more successfully than the rest of the industry. Our enthusiastic, family attitude energizes our teamwork and helps us get the job done on time, and right — the first time.
Our fusion of company size and individual expertise means we can do more with the next great idea … which could come from anywhere and anyone. We are reinventing the industry by supporting 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 haul, through the busy times and beyond.
We are Stevenson Service Experts! Giving strength, knowledge and support through every season.
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