Should You Turn Your Heat Down When You’re Not Home?

Thanks to the technology of heating and cooling systems, we’re able to have comfortable environments in our homes, even when the weather outside is freezing cold or sweltering hot. But, the price of running your heater or air conditioner constantly can quickly add up.

One common solution that many propose to this problem is to cut back on your heating costs by turning down the thermostat when no one’s at home—after all, what’s the point in running your heater when no one’s around to reap the benefits? If you’ve thought of this before, you may have found yourself concerned by the potential drawbacks; what about the cost of heating your home back to a comfortable temperature when you get back?

Contrary to what you may expect, reheating or cooling your home after adjusting the thermostat doesn’t cost more than keeping the heater or AC running as usual when no one’s around. Yes, you’ll need to get your home back to regular temperatures quickly, but you’ll only need to do it once in a day rather than the several times that occur when you leave it constantly running.

If you’re thinking about going even further and turning off your thermostat completely when you head out for the day, you may want to reconsider. Exposure to extreme temperatures can negatively impact your home (frozen water pipes, for example), plus it just makes for an uncomfortable environment when you get home. Instead, adjusting the temperature about 10 degrees away from the usual (for example, from 70 degrees to 60 in the winter) when you go out will do plenty to help you save energy.

If  you use a heat pump to warm your home, you may just want to keep your hands off the thermostat altogether. Heat pumps are much more energy efficient when running at a constant level, rather than having them try to work with fluctuating temperatures. In this case, dropping the level of heat when you go out will likely not help you save energy and money.

Other Ways to Save on Your Heating and Cooling Bills

As helpful as adjusting the thermostat can be to help you cut back on energy costs, it can be difficult to remember to adjust the settings every day. One of the best ways you can make the process easier is to invest in a programmable thermostat, where you can set when you want temperature changes and let the thermostat handle the rest.

Keeping up with regular maintenance also helps your heating and cooling system run at peak efficiency, which can impact costs. Tending to filters, removing dirt, and checking to be sure vents and air ducts are all in good condition are just some of the essential tasks you can perform.

As much as heating and air conditioning can add to your energy costs, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort to save a few dollars. Adjusting your thermostat when no one’s home can help reduce your annual heating costs, so go ahead and twist that dial with confidence.