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

For plenty of hours a day you’re off at work, or possibly at school. Yet your HVAC system continues to run, with nobody home. This uses up a good deal of energy and wastes money. You can dramatically scale back this cost by changing the thermostat up or down before you go to work and setting it back to your desired temperature when you come home. But how much should you adjust the temperature?

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

You can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day compared to its typical setting. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in cooler climates than for those in more severe climates.

The tinier the contrast between the both temperatures, the lower your complete cooling bill can be. You can effectively save energy in the winter by adjusting the thermostat to around 68°F while you're awake and adjusting it lower while you're asleep or away from home. In the summer, you can use the same plan with central air conditioning by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are at work and tweaking the thermostat to a setting as high as you can manage comfortably when you're home and want cooling and to provide humidity control if necessary.

You might have been informed that these kinds of adjustments are not worth the effort because your HVAC has to work even harder to go back to your preferred temperature, using up your savings, but the energy department dismisses that claim, especially 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 any time you leave for work, it’s easy to miss in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one perk of programmable and smart thermostats. You can direct your thermostat to automatically change to another temperature through your regular work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can increase or decrease the temperature (or the programming schedule) from your smartphone or similar device. This is particularly helpful if you’ve neglected to adjust the setting before going on vacation.

Always Remember the Pets

If you own pets, give consideration to their comfort as well. Cats and dogs with heavy fur won’t be comfortable with high temperatures. And pets with less dense fur won't always be comfortable with cold temperatures. The same applies to tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Because temperature preferences vary universally by breed and species, so review them for your pets.

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

  • Carbon emissions - The more often you run your heating and air conditioning, the more carbon emissions you generate. Saving energy minimizes air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
  • HVAC Longevity - Overworking your HVAC unit can reduce its life expectancy and cause additional maintenance to be necessary. It also means the air filter can clog up more quickly, making your indoor air supply worse.

If you have any ideas about your air conditioner features, or if you need HVAC repair or maintenance, contact the pros at Barlow Service Experts, a big company with local heart. We’re enthusiastic about making the world a cozy place to live. Whether we’re warming, cooling or making the water flow, we take great pride in keeping our customers and communities comfortable and satisfied.

Experts — it’s in the name and vital to our service. We strive to help each member of our staff learn to be a skilled professional. We work with the best and offer education, opportunities and reinforcement, so our teams can learn, improve and be prepared for any kind of challenge in front of them.

Our united business strength and people distinguish us from the competition. With over 4,000 team members working together, we can deliver and innovate more successfully than the competition. Our positive, family-friendly attitude powers our collaboration and helps us get the job done on time, and right — the first time.

Our blend of company size and individual expertise means we can offer more with the next big idea … which can come from anywhere and anyone. We are reinvigorating the industry by supporting each team member’s greatest ideas. That means our teams and customers can relax knowing we’re moving, innovating, delivering, and in it for the long term, through the busy times and beyond.

We are Barlow Service Experts! Giving strength, knowledge and support through every season.

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