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Daylight Saving Time: Should We Keep It Around?

wall clock

As you know, Daylight Saving Time (DST) has just started. If you have a dog, you’ll know right away everything has changed, because your pooch will want to go outside at a different time of day. Of course, it’s only a different time of day according to the clock: your dog tells time with light. Your body does as well, which is why everything feels a bit “off” for a few days. It’s like jet lag except you aren’t going on a fun vacation.

DST is something everyone accepted for decades as “the way things are.” Now the idea of ditching this spring shift in clocks is gaining popularity. I’ve done my research on this and would like to share with you why Daylight Saving Time exists in the first place, and why it might be time to toss it aside like a chew toy long past its usefulness.

The Reasons for Daylight Savings Time

Benjamin Franklin proposed something similar to Daylight Saving Time in 1784 in an essay that was semi-joking. But a hundred years later, the German Empire put the idea into practice—and other countries adopted it. Here’s the original rationale:

  • Agrarian societies would have more daylight work hours. These societies are based more on light and day-length than urban societies are, where events are set to occur no matter the change in light.
  • Fuel use for lighting could be reduced. This was especially important in the U.S. during World War I as a way to conserve energy supplies.
  • A number of industries thrived on longer daylight hours. Baseball, which didn’t have artificial lighting for ballparks at the time, is one example.

Why We Might Not Need DST Anymore

If you read these above advantages and thought, “Most of that doesn’t apply in the 21st century,” then you already understand why there’s a push to stop fiddling with clocks in March. Aside from not offering the same benefits it once did, DST has some major negatives:

  • The time shift causes a drop in productivity, with people losing around 40 minutes of sleep on Sunday morning. (Your dog won’t help!) This is estimated to cost the economy around $434 million a year.
  • It’s not healthy to force everybody to change their body rhythms at once. It’s terrible for people who have Seasonal Affective Disorder and may be linked to an increase in heart disease.
  • Here’s one I can attest to personally as an HVAC dog: people use more energy for air conditioning and heating because of DST. The folks who devised Daylight Saving Time weren’t accounting for modern HVAC technology. You may not need as much artificial light, but if you’re up you’ll probably need heating and cooling!

Are we on track to get rid of Daylight Saving Time? Maybe. I know that if you polled all dogs, we’d definitely vote on scrapping it: we want you up when it’s time for us to go out!

You know who else pays no attention to Daylight Saving Time? The weather! If you need help in these closing winter days with your heating in Maryville, TN, all you have to do is reach out to us. Our technicians not only provide heating repair work, they’ll give you a head start on warmer weather with our Comfort Club and its AC maintenance service.

Stay warm,