Benefits of Temperature Setbacks

How To Use A Temperature Setback In Your California Home


What is a temperature setback?

A temperature setback refers to changing the temperature setting on your thermostat for a set period of time when your home does not require extensive heating or cooling. Knowing how to properly use a setback temperature can save you money on heating or cooling costs.

Temporarily adjusting the temperature setting on the thermostat at night, or while occupants are away from home, seems to be a simple and easy way to save energy in the heating and cooling seasons. Many people turn off their HVAC heating system completely when leaving the house because they view it as wasted money since no one is currently home. However, a setback temperature doesn’t mean the heating is on when no one is home; with the right setback temperature for your home, your HVAC system will be off while you’re away for a certain amount of time but won’t allow your home’s temperature to drop too far if you’re out for longer than expected.

Reducing the set temperature during the night, as well as during the workday, by means of a conventional thermostat or with the aid of a programmable model can do wonders on your utility bill. In summer, a similar strategy can be employed by increasing the set temperature during the workday, reducing the load on your HVAC system during peak hours. But do setback temperature techniques for the winter season and set-forward temperature techniques during the hotter months really help save energy?

Studies have shown that on average, your HVAC system will cost between 5% to 10% less to run by using setback temperatures. Factored over many winters of heating and summers of cooling, this can be significant savings for your home.

As a starting point to find the perfect temperature setback for your home, Energy Star recommends:

  • During the daytime starting at 8am, a temperature setback of at least 8 degrees Fahrenheit for heating and at least 7 degrees Fahrenheit for cooling is optimal.
  • During the nighttime while sleeping (around 10pm), a temperature setback of at least 8 degrees Fahrenheit for heating and at least 4 degrees Fahrenheit for cooling is optimal.

With a setback, your HVAC is on for less time and therefore requires less energy to maintain the lower setpoint. Even when considering the amount of energy needed to heat the home back up or cool the home back down, it requires less energy over a single sustained period, compared to an HVAC running more often throughout the night and day. Setting the most efficient temperature in any season will maximize energy savings without affecting you and your family’s comfort.

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Grizzly HERS Testing

Grizzly HERS Testing is a certified HERS Rater and Energy Consultant. We specialize in Title 24 HERS Verifications, Residential HERS Testing, Mechanical Acceptance Testing and Title 24 Energy Calculations.