Should Thermostats be Turned up Every Time you Leave the House?
Will I save energy of I turn up my thermostat to 80 degrees every time I leave home?
- Martha, Prescott Valley
Turning up your a/c will not necessarily reduce your air conditioning bills. The U.S. Department of Energy says you can save 10 percent a year on your heating and cooling bills by simply setting your thermostat 10 degrees or so higher in summer or back in winter for 8 hours. You can do this automatically without sacrificing comfort by installing a programmable thermostat. Here is what you should not do – change the thermostat setting for short periods, several times throughout the day. If you will be gone for less than 6 hours, leave your thermostat where it is. Lowering the thermostat to 60 degrees when you get home to kick the a/c into high gear and cool the house faster. This does not cool your home any faster, but will use more energy than if you set the thermostat to a reasonable temperature. Your best bet is to set the thermostat and then forget it. You can set various schedules for work, sleep and weekends and weekdays and let the programmable thermostat remember when to change for the most efficient and comfortable result. There any many programmable thermostats on the market, they are easy to use and install. Remember, a word of caution, do not use a regular programmable thermostat with a heat pump.