What Is Temperature Setback? How Does It Save Money?

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One of the easiest ways to realize home energy savings is using a technique called a temperature setback – a simple strategy that entails letting your home drift to a lower temperature (in heating mode) or higher temperature (in cooling mode).  

The best way to incorporate temperature setbacks into your home routine is to program the drifts to occur when no one is around – during work or school hours, for example. Another popular setback strategy is to allow the drifts to occur overnight, when the shift in temperature will be less noticeable.

How Much Can You Expect To Save With Setbacks?

The amount of energy saved during a setback period depends on how far you let temperatures drift and for how long they remain in that setting.  The more you let your home temperature drift – and the longer you let this drift occur – the more money you’ll save.

According to the US Department of Energy, you can typically save about one percent for each one-degree setback for an eight-hour period (the same results can be approximated for “setting forward” – that is, letting the home get warm in the summer).  For example, if you allow the home to drift down five degrees overnight during the heating months, you’ll save about five percent on your utility bills.

Of course, this is only an approximation: many factors will influence how much money you’ll save by reducing temperatures, including your heating load, how efficient your equipment is, and more.

Other Home Temperature Considerations

Efficiency isn’t the only factor that should influence how low you set temperatures in your Connecticut home. Your comfort, of course, is also paramount, as is your health: not only can temperatures leave you more prone to illness, but it can also impact home humidity levels, which can encourage the growth of microorganisms like mold and bacteria.

Best thermostat temperature settings for balancing comfort and economy

Heating months:

  • When home and awake, set the thermostat for 68°F.
  • Lower temperatures by 7-10° for the hours you’re asleep or out of the house.*

Cooling months:

  • When you’re home and awake, program air conditioning to 78°F.
  • Program the AC to shut off during the hours you’re out of the house.

In general:

  • Program heat or A/C to shut off 20-30 minutes before you leave home each day; return them to normal comfort levels 20 to 30 minutes before you come home.
  • Program reductions in heating or cooling to begin 60 minutes before you go to sleep; return them to normal comfort levels 30 minutes before you awaken.

*On exceptionally cold days, avoid dropping your thermostat below 60 degrees to prevent frozen pipes.

Be smart and save on your monthly energy bills with temperature setbacks! Want to save even more? Become a Hocon customer and pay less for your heating oil and propane deliveries in Connecticut. Contact us today to learn more.

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