This post first appeared in our weekly Make Waves Mondays email series on November 29, 2021.
Helloooo, friend! I hope your Thanksgiving weekend was full of friendship, family, love, and laughter, and that you enjoyed a nice long weekend away from work.
I personally took most of Thursday off and enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with some friends, and managed to actually take Friday off completely, which was a FEAT, lemme tell ya. And as I’m writing this Sunday night the plan is to take Monday off completely to go Christmas tree hunting and enjoy some more time with friends…we’ll see how much I can get done before then! (Check in on your small business owner friends...we’re in our craziest time of the year 😅)
Please enjoy this adorable photo of me with last year’s tree pick 😄
And so on that note, let’s dive right into today’s edition of our Small Change Big Impact series where we highlight one small change we can each make in our everyday lives that has a huge impact for the planet.
Lemme ask you this, friend... What’s your thermostat set to right now?
It may not seem like one or two degrees really matters when it comes to our heating and cooling habits, but they really do!
Residential heating and cooling accounts for 9% of all energy consumption in the United States. That’s not something to sneeze at!
So what can we do to reduce our energy consumption?
You’ve probably heard before that we should be keeping our thermostats around 68°F in the winter and 78°F in the summer. But why?
The closer your home’s internal temperature is to the outdoor temperature, the less your HVAC system has to work to keep the temperature steady. That means less emissions - and less cash out of your pocket!
But we can also take this a little step further.
There’s a myth that adjusting your thermostat throughout the day uses more energy than keeping it at a steady temperature. But it’s just that. A myth.
By adjusting your thermostat somewhere around 7°-10°F for eight hours a day, you can actually save about 10% on your energy bills.
Of course, if you work from home, this may be more difficult for you, but if you’re reporting to an office - give it a shot! Turn the temp down to about 60° during these colder months and when warmer weather comes back around, bump it up to about 85° while you’re out.
Even better, if you’re going on vacay, turn that thermostat down to about 55° while you’re away. You’ll save energy, save money, and won’t have to worry about pipes freezing at that temperature.
And there’s an even easier way…
Smart thermostats are a game changer. Not only can you program them to adjust automatically at times you set, but they can actually learn your habits and adjust to best fit YOUR life.
But don’t just take my word for it. Smart thermostats are #36 on Project Drawdown’s list of climate change solutions. Anything that makes it onto the Drawdown solutions list is a pretty big deal.
And because smart thermostats are so great to cut energy consumption, you might even be able to get some money from your city to install one in your home.
The City of Tacoma, for example, offers a $25 rebate for smart thermostats for baseboard heating, or a $50 rebate for smart thermostats for furnaces or heat pumps. If you’re outside of Tacoma, all I did to find this info was Google “smart thermostat rebate Tacoma,” and it was the first result in the list. Easy peasy.
But if you live in an apartment or can’t upgrade your thermostat for any reason, you can still adjust your temp manually! Maybe set a reminder on your phone to go off every day before you head out the door, or leave yourself a note somewhere you’ll see it each morning. And especially if you’re going out of town for the holidays, drop that heat down before you leave!
Oh - and when you come home, don’t crank up the heat higher than you want it. It won’t heat your home any faster, and you’ll use extra energy, which is kinda the opposite of what we’re going for here 😂
So whaddaya think? Think you can handle dropping your heat down a few degrees this winter? How will you remind yourself to turn it down when you’re out of the house for more than 8 hours? Let’s commit together! Comment below and let me know!