Today’s thermostats can do more than ever, with programmable settings and smart properties that make them energy and cost efficient. However, regardless of your HVAC’s age, adjusting the thermostat when you’re away from home is one of the easiest ways to lower your heating/cooling costs and prolong the life of your system.
When to Adjust the Thermostat
Since frequent temperature adjustments can make your system work too hard, there’s a balance to be struck here. True, cooling or heating an empty house makes little sense, as no one’s there to appreciate the comfort. On the other hand, turning the temperature up or down when you get home will cause the system to work hard to restore ideal temperatures.
To solve this conundrum, experts recommend maintaining temperatures if you plan to be away for less than four hours. For a full workday, weekend getaway, or lengthy vacation, setting the temperature more in line with outdoor weather can help reduce energy costs significantly.
Setting the Thermostat in Summer
Of course, recommendations will vary depending on outdoor temperatures, but the rule of thumb is to push the temperature up about four degrees when you plan to be away. So, if you normally set the temperature to 75 degrees when home, go up to 82 degrees while away.
Setting the Thermostat in Winter
The same rule applies to heating your home in winter. If you prefer it at 72 degrees with a full house, turn the temperature down to 68 degrees while everyone’s out. Note: If you have a gas furnace, you can adjust the setting six or eight degrees, since gas uses less energy to reheat.
Upgrading Your Thermostat
If you have an older system, upgrading to a programmable thermostat can save you time and money. One of the most significant advantages of this type is it lets you design a schedule and forget about it. Each season, you can decide what temperatures to set and when, then you won’t have to remember to adjust settings every day when you leave for work. Smart thermostats also learn your habits with time and will begin recognizing when to adjust the temperature.
For more information about energy savings or upgrading your HVAC system, feel free to call your friendly Vredevoogd associate. We can evaluate your current system, make recommendations, and estimate the cost of a full upgrade. Call us today at 616-828-5411 in Grand Rapids, 269-290-7844 in Kalamazoo, and 517-507-4174 in Lansing.