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

For several hours a day you’re away at work, or maybe at school. Yet your HVAC system keeps going and going, with nobody home. This needs a good deal of energy and costs you money. You can considerably scale back this cost by setting the thermostat up or down as you head to work and adjusting it back to your preferred temperature when you get home. But how much should the thermostat be adjusted?

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

You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling bills by simply adjusting your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day compared to its normal setting. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in more temperate climates than for those in more dynamic climates.

The smaller the difference between the both temperatures, the more affordable your overall cooling bill can be. You can effectively save energy during the winter by setting the thermostat to around 68°F while you're awake and setting it down while you're asleep or away from home. During the summer, you can follow the same strategy 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 is comfortable for you when you're home and want cooling and to secure humidity control if necessary.

You may have been told that these kinds of adjustments aren’t worth the effort because your HVAC has to work even harder to go back to your desired temperature, using up your savings, but the energy department suggests this isn't true, 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.”

Programmable and Smart Thermostats

Despite the benefits of changing your thermostat every time you go to work, it’s very easy to forget in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one perk of programmable and smart thermostats. You can instruct your thermostat to automatically shift to a higher or lower temperature through your regular work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can increase or decrease the temperature (or the programming schedule) from anywhere. This is very helpful if you’ve neglected to fix the setting before leaving for a trip.

Don't Forget the Pets

If you own pets, think about their comfort too. Cats and dogs with dense fur won’t be comfy with high temperatures. And pets with less fur may not be pleased with cold temperatures. The same applies to tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Because temperature preferences deviate universally by breed and species, so review them for your pets.

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

  • Carbon emissions - The more often you use your HVAC system, the more carbon emissions you generate. Preserving energy minimizes air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
  • HVAC Longevity - Overusing your HVAC unit can diminish its life span and cause increased maintenance to be needed. It also means the air filter will clog up more quickly, making your indoor air supply worse.

If you have any ideas about your air conditioner options, or if you require HVAC repair or maintenance, get in touch with the pros at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, a big company with homegrown heart. We’re enthusiastic about making the world a comfy 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 comfy and content.

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