Please choose a Location

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

For many hours a day you’re away at work, or possibly at school. Yet your comfort system keeps working, with nobody home. This uses a good deal of energy and costs you money. You can considerably lower this cost by adjusting the thermostat up or down when you go to work and resetting it back to your desired temperature when you return home. But how much should you adjust the temperature? 

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

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

The tinier the contrast between the both temperatures, the more affordable your total cooling bill will be. You can comfortably save energy in the winter by lowering the thermostat to something like 68°F while you’re awake and turning it down while you’re asleep or away from home. In the summer, you can use the same plan with central air conditioning by having your house warmer than normal when you are away and adjusting the thermostat to a setting as warm as is comfortable for you when you’re home and want cooling and to provide humidity control if necessary. 

You may have been informed that doing these adjustments won’t be worth it because your comfort system has to work harder to go back to your preferred temperature, undoing your savings, but the energy department dismisses that claim, especially for a furnace: “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 setting your thermostat any time you leave for work, it’s not hard to miss in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one perk of programmable and smart thermostats. You can adjust your thermostat to automatically shift to a higher or lower temperature during your standard work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can change 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 have pets at home, consider their comfort too. Cats and dogs with heavy fur won’t be as happy with high temperatures. And pets with short fur might not be happy with cold temperatures. The same is true of tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Considering temperature tolerances differ universally by breed and species, so review them for your pets. 

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

  • Carbon emissions – The harder you operate your heating and cooling, the more carbon emissions you generate. Preserving energy reduces air pollution and greenhouse gasses. 
  • HVAC Longevity – Overusing your HVAC unit can cut its longevity and cause increased maintenance to be needed. It also means the air filter can clog up sooner, making your indoor air quality worse. 

If you have any concerns about your air conditioner options, or if you are looking for HVAC repair or maintenance, get in touch with the professionals at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, a big company with homegrown heart. We’re serious about making the world a comfy place to live. Whether we’re keeping things warm, cooling things down or making the water flow, we take great pride in keeping our customers and communities comfortable and contented. 

Experts — it’s in our name and vital to our work. We work hard to help each member of our staff develop into a skilled craftsman. We hire the best and offer training, opportunities and support, so everyone can learn, develop and be ready for any kind of challenge in front of them. 

Our combined business strength and people distinguish us from the competition. With more than 4,000 team members on board, we can deliver and innovate better than the competition. Our positive, family attitude fuels our collaboration and helps us get the job done in a timely manner, and right — the first time. 

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

We are Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing! Offering strength, knowledge and support across every season. 

Savings For You

See All Offers Here >


  • Save $50 on a Paid Service
  • Written 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Plus, ask how to save an additional 15% and waive your trip charge!


  • Upgrade to Worry-Free Comfort with the Advantage Program and make NO payments for 30 days!

© 2024 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.

Chat with a Service Experts Professional