3 Common Thermostat Habits That Are Costing You Money

Heating and cooling in your home in Pelham, AL makes up almost half of your yearly energy bills. So if you are looking for ways to cut your energy use, that’s a great place to start. What’s the easiest way to cut energy use? Stop making these mistakes with your home’s thermostat! Here are the 3 most common habits that are costing you money.  

Trying to heat or cool your home “faster”

Does this sound familiar? You get home from work and your home is too hot for your preference. The home’s at 79°, and you like it at 75°F. But you set the thermostat to 72°, so that it will cool off your home more quickly. Bad idea. Surprisingly, this doesn’t actually make your air conditioner work faster. Unless you have a two-stage AC, your air conditioner and/or furnace only works at one speed. The air conditioner (or furnace in a vice versa situation) simply run longer at the same speed to reach the lower temperature setting. And when the AC runs longer…it’s going to cost you more money. Therefore, if your house is at 79° and you want it at 75°, just go ahead and set it at 75°. It’ll get there just as fast and will actually save you money!

Setting your thermostat at the same temperature ALL the time

Many of us set our thermostat at a specific temperature and never touch it because we think that’s the most energy-efficient way. Shockingly, you could be wasting as much as $180/year, according to ENERGY STAR. 

Instead, you should change your thermostat setting whenever you leave your home for 8 hours or longer, which for many people is almost daily during work. After all, there’s no need to heat or cool your empty home to the same temperature as when you’re home, right?

When your home will be empty for 8 hours or longer, set your thermostat 5°-8° higher in the summer and 10°-15° lower in the winter. Then you can set the thermostat back to your comfortable setting when you get home. Actively doing this can save you 5-15% on your yearly energy costs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. 

Okay, so maybe that doesn’t sound like the most realistic daily habit. Maybe you want to come home to the perfect temperature and not have to wait on it to heat up or cool down. Plus, remembering to change your thermostat every time you leave your home can be difficult. Two words- programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats can be set to your schedule so that it automatically makes these adjustments for you. Autumn Air can easily get you set up with thermostats that can be controlled by an app or even a smart home device. It could really help save some money on your energy bill. 

Messing with your thermostat too much

A study about the effectiveness of programmable thermostats found that people who are constantly touching and adjusting their thermostats use more energy than those that leave them alone for long periods of time. It seems counter-productive, doesn’t it?

Constantly changing the set temperature on your thermostat causes your air conditioner (or furnace) to stop and start, which causes them to run inefficiently. For example, let’s say you have your thermostat set at 68°F in the winter. Your furnace heats your home until that point then shuts off. But you realize you’re still a little chilly, so you raise the thermostat to 70°F. The furnace must now immediately turn back on. Then maybe that’s too much so you settle at 69°F, then your spouse wants it warmer, so back to 70°F. Your furnace and AC should be running for longer, steadier times instead of a constant “stop and go”. Think of it like your car’s MPG. Do you get better mileage on streets with lots of stoplights or on the interstate?

So remember these 3 things to help you save money on your energy bills:

  1. Don’t crank your thermostat way up or way down to heat or cool your home faster—it will work at the same speed no matter what.
  2. Change your thermostat temperature setting when you’re away from home for 8+ hours. Ideally, 5°-8° higher in the summer and 10°-15° lower in the winter.
  3. Don’t constantly change the thermostat setting when you’re home as it will waste money.

Want less to think about when it comes to the temperature in your home? Talk to an Autumn Air HVAC in Pelham, AL about getting a programmable thermostat to help your home and wallet stay comfortable. Call (205) 255-9145.

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