Don’t Push Your Thermostat to the Hottest Setting! Here’s Why

Back in October, we wrote a post about the ways thermostats can end up costing a household extra money during the winter. A malfunctioning or outdated thermostat can lead to numerous heating difficulties and needless additional costs.

In this post, we want to look at how a good thermostat—one working in perfect condition and upgraded with the best technology—can still end up costing you extra during the winter. User error can defeat the most advanced thermostat, and a common user error during this time of year is pushing the thermostat’s setting up as high as it can go (which is often 85–90°F), then pulling it back down whenever it starts to grow too hot and stuffy indoors. There are two reasons that this wastes money:

ONE: It doesn’t make the heating system provide you with faster warmth

This is a major misunderstanding that people have about thermostats. When a thermostat is put at its highest setting, it doesn’t make the heater work at a higher level to deliver more warmth at a faster rate, as if the thermostat were a gas pedal you push down harder when you want more power. The thermostat is actually a switch that turns the heater on and off. The higher setting tells the heater to stay on for as long as necessary to reach the target temperature. A higher setting means a heating system that runs longer than it should to reach an uncomfortable temperature.

TWO: Higher indoor temperatures mean faster heat loss

The hotter the interior of your house, the faster it will lose heat to the outdoors. When the temperature is cooler, heat leaves the home at a slower rate, so you conserve energy when you maintain a lower setting on the thermostat. This doesn’t mean keeping your home cold by any means. But if you place the thermostat at 68°F during the day when people are awake, and lower it by 8°–10° at night or when the house is empty, you can stay comfortable while reducing your seasonal heating bills by 5%–15%.

Call Mid-State Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing in Nashville, TN for your heating needs this winter.

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