You’ve heard the advice before: to save energy cooling your home, setback the temperature on the thermostat (i.e. set the temperature higher) during times when you’re not home or during the evening when people are asleep. The standard recommended setback temperature is 8°F. For example, if you keep the thermostat set to 78°F during the day when people are in the house and awake (this is a setting the US Department of Energy advocates for the best combination of energy savings and comfort), then the setback temperature would raise it to 86°F. If you own a programmable thermostat, you can have the setback as the standard evening/away setting and then not have to think about adjusting the temperatures after that.
Thermostat technology has advanced rapidly over the last decade, and you may have heard contrary advice: thermostat setback isn’t useful and won’t save money. But this is wrong for a number of reasons. Let’s look at why the thermostat setback is still a basic way to save money on cooling costs.