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

For many hours a day you’re gone at work, or perhaps at school. Yet your heating or air conditioning continues to run, despite the house being empty. This uses a ton of energy and feels like wasting money. You can considerably scale back this cost by adjusting the thermostat up or down when you leave for work and adjusting it back to your desired temperature when you get home. But how much should you adjust it?

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

You can save around 10% a year on heating and cooling bills by simply setting your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day rather than its typical setting. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in milder climates than for those in more dynamic climates.

The tinier the variation between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the less expensive your complete cooling bill can be. You can comfortably save energy through the winter by lowering the thermostat to about 68°F while you're awake and adjusting it lower while you're in bed 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 adjusting 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 needed.

You may have been told that making these adjustments are not worth it because your HVAC has to work harder to return to your preferred temperature, using up your savings, but the energy department puts that notion to rest, 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

Even with the benefits of adjusting your thermostat each time you leave for work, it’s very easy to miss in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one advantage of programmable and smart thermostats. You can set your thermostat to automatically shift to a different temperature across your standard work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can increase or decrease the temperature (or the programming schedule) remotely. This is particularly helpful if you’ve neglected to adjust the setting before going on a long trip.

Always Remember the Pets

If you own pets, consider their comfort as well. Cats and dogs with dense fur won’t be as happy with high temperatures. And pets with less dense fur won't always be happy with cold temperatures. The same is true of tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Because temperature tolerances differ universally by breed and species, so review them for your pets.

Other Advantages of Adjusting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away

  • Carbon emissions - The more often you operate your heating and cooling, the more carbon emissions you generate. Conserving energy reduces air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
  • HVAC Longevity - Overworking your HVAC system can diminish its life span and cause additional maintenance to be needed. It also means the air filter may clog up sooner, making your indoor air quality worse.

If you have any ideas about your air conditioner settings, or if you are looking for HVAC repair or maintenance, contact the pros at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, a big company with homegrown heart. We’re serious 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 cozy and contented.

Experts — it’s in our name and vital to our service. We work hard to help each team member learn to be a skilled craftsman. We work with the best and provide training, opportunities and assistance, so our staff can learn, improve and be equipped for any kind of challenge they're faced with.

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 other companies. Our positive, family-friendly attitude powers our collaboration and helps us get the job done promptly, and right — the first time.

Our blend of company size and personal expertise means we can offer more with the next big idea … which can come from anywhere and anyone. We are helping transform the industry by utilizing each team member’s most popular ideas. That means our teams and customers can rest easy knowing we’re moving, innovating, delivering, and in it for the long run, through the busy times and beyond.

We are Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning! Giving strength, knowledge and support through every season.

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