Your thermostat is a tool. In fact, it’s just one tool among several that helps you manage indoor temperatures during different times of year.
Unfortunately, many consumers rely completely on their thermostats when less expensive temperature management methods are perfectly adequate. Others misuse their thermostats based on misconceptions about how the devices work. We’re here to help. Let’s look together at a few situations when you should not change the settings on your thermostat.
1. The temperature outside is dropping.
Imagine it’s wintertime, and you’ve kept your thermostat at a modest, yet reasonable, 67 degrees while at home. Average daily temperatures usually hover around 45 degrees, but a cold front is moving in. The daytime temperature will drop to 25 degrees, so you bump the thermostat up to 70. Good idea, right?
While this is a common reaction to dropping temperatures, it makes no sense from an energy use perspective. Ultimately, the purpose of your thermostat is to maintain a specific temperature. If you’re comfortable at 67 degrees when the outside temperature is in the 40s, you’ll be comfortable at 67 degrees when the outside temperature drops to the 20s – or lower!
2. You want to heat or cool a room quickly.
A thermostat cannot control the speed at which your home’s temperature increases or decreases. It can only control the temperature to which the air inside your home increases or decreases.
Therefore, it’s not a good idea to substantially lower your thermostat to cool a hot room as quickly as possible. The room will cool just as quickly if you keep the thermostat set to the temperature you would like to maintain in the room. The same holds true for heating a room that feels too cold.
3. There are other ways to warm up or cool off.
Remember how we said your thermostat is just one of several tools that can help you manage indoor temperatures? The others can be found around your home, and most will cost you $0 to use.
One of these “tools” is clothing. Next time you’re feeling chilly, try putting on a sweater instead of bumping the thermostat up to summertime temperatures. If it’s too hot inside your home, put on shorts or kick your shoes off. Changing clothes won’t alter your home’s temperature, but it will improve your comfort – and that’s what you’re really trying to change, right?
If it’s hot inside your home but there’s a breeze outside, open a window. Ceiling fans can also help you cool off or warm up. The thermostat isn’t your only line of defense against fluctuating temperatures – far from it! There are several other ways to get comfortable without overpaying for energy.
If you’re not misusing your thermostat and can’t seem to get comfortable even though you’ve added or removed clothing, your heating and cooling system might require maintenance. Newcomb and Company can examine your system to see if it’s operating at peak efficiency. Contact us today to schedule a service call or learn more about lowering your energy bill.