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

For several hours a day you’re away 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 significantly lower this cost by changing the thermostat up or down as you go to work and resetting it back to your desired temperature when you come home. But how much should the thermostat be adjusted?

Here’s what the Department of Energy suggests about thermostat settings:

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

The lower the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the less expensive your overall cooling bill should be. You can easily save energy in the winter by lowering the thermostat to something like 68°F while you're awake and adjusting it lower while you're sleeping or away from home. For summer, you can practice the same approach with central air conditioning by leaving your house warmer than normal when you are at work and tweaking the thermostat to a setting as high as you're comfortable with when you're home and want cooling and to secure humidity control if necessary.

You may have been informed that these kinds of adjustments aren’t worth it because your comfort system has to work extra hard to get back to your favored temperature, undoing your savings, but the energy department puts that notion to rest, namely 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

Even with the benefits of changing your thermostat each time you leave for work, it’s not hard to overlook in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one benefit of programmable and smart thermostats. You can instruct your thermostat to automatically shift to a different temperature across your regular work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can increase or decrease the temperature (or the programming schedule) remotely. This is especially helpful if you’ve forgotten to adjust the setting before going on vacation.

Remember the Pets

If you have pets at home, consider their comfort too. Cats and dogs with dense fur won’t be comfy with high temperatures. And pets with less dense fur might not be comfortable with cold temperatures. The same applies to tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Considering temperature preferences differ universally by breed and species, so it helps to verify the ideal temperature range for your pets.

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

  • Carbon emissions - The harder you run your heating and air conditioning, the more carbon emissions you produce. Preserving energy decreases air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
  • HVAC Longevity - Overworking your HVAC unit can reduce its life expectancy and cause increased maintenance to be necessary. It also means the air filter can clog up more quickly, making your air less clean.

If you have any concerns about your air conditioner features, or if you need HVAC repair or maintenance, call the pros at Peitz Service Experts, a big company with hometown heart. We’re serious 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 work. We work hard to help each member of our staff become a skilled professional. We hire the best and provide training, opportunities and support, so our teams can learn, develop and be equipped for any challenge in front of them.

Our combined business strength and people distinguish us from the competition. With over 4,000 team members collaborating on making you comfortable, we can deliver and innovate more effectively than the competition. Our can-do, family-friendly attitude energizes our collaboration and helps us get the job done on time, and right — the first time.

Our fusion of company size and personal expertise means we can do more with the next big idea … which may come from anywhere and anyone. We are reinvigorating the industry by harnessing each team member’s greatest ideas. That means our teams and customers can rest easy knowing we’re moving, innovating, delivering, and in it for the long term, through the busiest times and beyond.

We are Peitz Service Experts! Giving strength, knowledge and support across every season.

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