Fact or fiction? How to use a thermostat.
Properly operating your thermostat is important for both energy savings and home comfort. There are definite dos (and don’ts) of thermostat operation that are particularly important to know during the hotter summer months.
For example, did you know that you can’t just choose a thermostat willy-nilly? Certain thermostats are paired with certain central heating and air conditioning systems in order to achieve proper performance.
But, that’s just one of many things. Here are some facts about proper thermostat operation. Are you following these rules?
It is not beneficial to decrease your thermostat temperature setting significantly in order to cool your home more quickly. Thermostats set at a lower temperature run longer, but don’t necessarily cool your home more quickly. In fact, the one thing you are going to achieve over a short period of time is an unreasonably high utility bill!
Constantly making adjustments on a non-programmable thermostat is not best practice. Making adjustments to a non-programmable thermostat constantly is going to run up your utility bill. If you want customized home comfort, the best thing to do is ask your HVAC contractor about a programmable model. This way, you can set your individual comfort schedule based on your habits and forget that it’s even there.
If you have a heat pump, you should not rely on the emergency heat setting. Although this is more of a winter issue, it is important to keep in mind. Even on really cold days, the normal heat setting will be the more economical heating mode. If it gets to the point where normal heating mode just isn’t cutting it, consider adding a gas furnace to your central heating system.
It’s important to find the highest, most comfortable temperature you are okay with and stick to it. Again, this ties into the second point that you shouldn’t constantly be making adjustments. The best way you are going to be able to control the amount you spend on cooling (or heating during the winter) is going to be largely dependent on how you set your thermostat. A few degrees isn’t going to have a significant impact on comfort, but it CAN have a larger impact on your utility bills.
A lot of simple heating and cooling problems can be attributed to a thermostat that isn’t operating properly. If, for some reason, it doesn’t seem like your air conditioner is cooling to the best of its ability, it could indicate a problem at the thermostat. Make sure your thermostat is on and reading the correct temperature. Some thermostat models will even indicate if there is a problem at the unit level. But, even when it comes to thermostats, make sure you consult a contractor before making any changes. DIY solutions are never recommended.
What are some of your thermostat tips? Do you have a programmable thermostat in your home? For all of your thermostat questions, make sure you turn to your local heating and air conditioning contractor.