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Does Adjusting the Thermostat up or Down Really Save You Money?

Person adjusting their air conditioner systemThermostats are simple temperature regulators telling your heating or cooling system when to turn on or off once the room reaches a specific temperature. Simply resetting the thermostat when you are asleep or away from home can save money on heating and cooling bills.

A programmable thermostat can aid in money-saving measures by allowing you to set the temperature on a daily and seasonal basis. Programmable thermostats can store and repeat multiple daily settings that you can manually override when necessary. Although thermostats can be adjusted manually, programmable thermostats will avoid any discomfort by returning temperatures to normal before you wake or return home.

Here Are a Few Tips on Making Those Adjustments That Can Save Money and Energy:

  • By adjusting the thermostat four-to-six degrees either up (in the summer) or down (in the winter) reduces the total run time of the heating and air system, leading to a reduction in the energy bill.
  • It is recommended that the thermostat be adjusted when a home is empty and/or at night when everyone is sleeping. It should be adjusted no more than four-to-six degrees for short periods of time. You can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to 68°F while you’re awake and setting it even lower while you’re asleep or away from home.
  • If you will be gone for more than a day, adjusting the thermostat by as much as 10-15 degrees would be beneficial. Turning the thermostat back 10-15 degrees for eight hours can save anywhere from five to 15 percent per year on your heating bill.
  • In the summer, you can follow the same strategy with central air-conditioning by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are away, and setting the thermostat to 78°F only when you are at home and need cooling.

There Are Other Ways to Save Money and Energy. Here Are a Few Cost-Saving Measures That People Can Do Around the Home:

  • Check insulation levels – add more insulation if needed.
  • Check for gaps around doors and windows.
  • Replace old doors or windows.
  • Keep water heater temperatures turned down as much as possible.
  • Change air filters on a regular basis – every three-to-six months is recommended.
  • Have equipment serviced yearly. This helps to ensure that everything is running at its optimal efficiency.
  • Replace old and inefficient equipment. Today’s minimum efficiency standards are much higher than ones even 20 years ago, so if your furnace or air conditioner is older than 15 years, replacements will help reduce energy bills.
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