How Should I Set My Thermostat for When I’m At Work?

For plenty of hours a day you’re gone at work, or maybe at school. Yet your HVAC system keeps working, with nobody home. This needs a good deal of energy and feels like wasting money. You can dramatically scale back this cost by setting the thermostat up or down as you leave for work and resetting it back to your desired temperature when you return home. But how much should you adjust the temperature? 

Here’s what the Department of Energy says about thermostat adjustments: 

You can save around 10% a year on heating and cooling by just turning your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day from its normal setting. The percentage of savings from setback is better for buildings in cooler climates than for those in more severe climates. 

The smaller the variation between the both temperatures, the lower your complete cooling bill will be. You can effectively save energy during the winter by setting the thermostat to about 68°F while you’re awake and turning it down while you’re in bed or away from home. In the summer, you can use the same approach with central air conditioning by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are at work and adjusting the thermostat to a setting as high as is comfortable for you when you return and want cooling and to ensure humidity control if necessary. 

You could have been told that making these adjustments aren’t worth the effort because your HVAC has to work even harder to return to your desired temperature, reversing your savings, but the energy department puts that notion to rest, especially for heaters: “A common misconception associated with thermostats is that a furnace works harder than normal to warm the space back to a comfortable temperature after the thermostat has been set back, resulting in little or no savings. In fact, as soon as your house drops below its normal temperature, it will lose energy to the surrounding environment more slowly.” 

Programmable and Smart Thermostats 

Regardless of the benefits of setting your thermostat every time you head to work, it’s easy to overlook in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one perk of programmable and smart thermostats. You can set your thermostat to automatically shift to another temperature through your regular work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can change the temperature (or the programming schedule) from anywhere. This is very helpful if you’ve forgotten to change the setting before going on vacation. 

Remember the Pets 

If you own pets, think about their comfort too. Cats and dogs with dense fur won’t be comfy with high temperatures. And pets with short fur may not be pleased with cold temperatures. The same is true of tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Because temperature preferences differ significantly by breed and species, so it helps to verify the ideal temperature range for your pets. 

More Perks of Setting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away 

  • Carbon emissions – The harder you use your heating and cooling, the more carbon emissions you generate. Preserving energy reduces air pollution and greenhouse gasses. 
  • HVAC Longevity – Overusing your HVAC system can reduce its life expectancy and cause increased maintenance to be necessary. It also means the air filter can clog up faster, making your air less clean. 

If you have any questions about your air conditioner features, or if you require HVAC repair or maintenance, get in touch with the specialists at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, a big company with hometown heart. We’re serious about making the world a comfy place to live. Whether we’re warming, cooling or making the water run, we take great pride in keeping our customers and communities cozy and contented. 

Experts — it’s in our name and central to our work. We work hard to help each member of our staff learn to be a skilled craftsman. We work with the best and offer education, opportunities and support, so our staff can learn, grow and be prepared for every challenge they’re faced with. 

Our combined business strength and people separate us from other service companies. With over 4,000 team members working together, we can deliver and innovate more successfully than other companies. Our can-do, neighborly attitude fuels our cooperation and helps us get the job done on time, and right — the first time. 

Our blend of company size and individual expertise means we can do more with the next amazing idea … which may come from anywhere and anyone. We are reinvigorating the industry by supporting each team member’s greatest ideas. That means our teams and customers can rest easy knowing we’re moving, innovating, delivering, and in it for the long term, through the busy times and beyond. 

We are Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing! Giving strength, knowledge and support through every season. 

Savings For You

See All Offers Here >


  • Save $50 on a Paid Service
  • Written 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Plus, ask how to save an additional 15% and waive your trip charge!


  • Upgrade to Worry-Free Comfort with the Advantage Program and make NO payments for 30 days!

© 2024 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.

Chat with a Service Experts Professional