Did you know that correct heating and AC system settings can save you money? At Aspen Creek Heating & Air, our professionals can help you potentially save a little extra cash throughout every season of the year – even while staying cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Let us explain just how this tip works and how efficiently your HVAC systems can run going forward.
So, you are feeling somewhat in the dark, looking at this temperature control panel for both your AC units and your heating units, and it all seems confusing. What does HOLD, FAN, and AUTO MEAN? What is the best setting to save me the most money, yet still be comfortable in my home? Well, here is just the solution to these questions!
PROS of setting the thermostat to ON:
- Continually circulates the air, providing an even temperature throughout your home, making you more comfortable
- Helps asthma and allergy sufferers if the furnace has a high HEPA-rated air filter
CONS of setting the thermostat to ON:
- Need to change your air filter more often
- Blower requires more frequent maintenance due to more usage
- Increased energy bills, as the blower fan uses more electricity
AUTO setting saves you money, so switch to this when away.
TEMPERATURE: By keeping your home heater thermostat at 68 degrees in the winter, you will be comfortable and keep your costs down. At bedtime when everyone is asleep or during the day when all are at school or work, lowering the thermostat 6 to 10 degrees is usually a good idea. If you are comfortable turning down the thermostat even more, such as 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours, you can save 5 to 15% per year on your heating bill, that is huge savings!
In the summer, do the exact opposite. Try setting the thermostat to 75 to 78 degrees when you’re home, and turn the temperature up a few degrees when you’re away, so less air conditioning is needed. You can also use portable fans or ceiling fans at night rather than lowering the thermostat. Of course, these temperatures will vary if you are entertaining and have large amounts of people over, or you are going away for extended periods of time.
And let’s not worry about a myth that states that your furnaces and air conditioners work harder than normal, to return a home to a comfortable temperature after a thermostat has been set back or turned up, eating up all your savings. The opposite is true, according to energy.gov, because when a house drops below its normal temperature in the winter, it loses energy to the environment around it more slowly, and in the summertime, the higher inside temperature slows the rate that heat enters the home. Therefore, this myth is debunked!
SETTINGS: If you want to save energy and money, it is always best to put your thermostat setting to “AUTO.” When your thermostat is in the “ON” setting, the blower will always be running, even if the temperature set point has been achieved. In the “AUTO” mode, the system only moves air while your HVAC is running and shuts off when the temperature set point is reached. If you put the fan switch to “ON,” the fan runs continuously, sometimes even 200 extra hours a month, if left on that setting. This puts a lot of unnecessary extra wear and tear on your system.
Setting your air conditioner fan to “AUTO” will help decrease humidity in your home also because it allows condensation a chance to drain instead of sending it back into the home. However, it does use up quite a bit more energy, but if you are trying to rid your home of a smoke smell or something you need to flush out, this is just the ticket.
MANUAL OR PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTATS: so, which one saves you more money and energy? They both are equal. The real difference would be the convenience of not having to manually input what you want, especially if you are away for an extended amount of time. It allows you to be more consistent with your schedule and times and can even be done from a smartphone while you are at work.
Another great feature is the “hold” button, which allows you to keep your original settings from being erased if you happen to be home for a couple of hours or so. When you are all done, just resume your settings by pushing the “Run” button. The biggest downfall of these thermostats is getting everyone on the same page. Once the household and guests have the system down and are not constantly touching the controls to adjust, you WILL save money. Be sure to install in a proper location away from direct sunlight or drafts.
Here are a couple of other tips that go hand in hand with your heating and cooling systems:
- If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in your comfort, use a ceiling fan whenever possible.
- Turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room. Remember, fans cool people, not rooms because they create a wind chill effect.
- When you shower or bathe, use the bathroom fan to remove the heat and humidity from your home. Your laundry room should also be ventilated. Make sure bathroom and kitchen fans are vented to the outside, to avoid moisture build-up.
Schedule regular maintenance for your cooling equipment and heating systems to avoid higher costs in the future with dirty filters or overused parts. Avoid placing lamps or TV sets near your air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, sometimes causing the air conditioner to run longer and harder when not needed.
Vacuum registers regularly to remove dust buildup, and be sure that furniture and other objects are not blocking the airflow through your registers into the rooms being heated or cooled.
As you can see, correct heating and AC system settings can save you money in the long run. And Aspen Creek Heating and Air is just a quick phone call away for fast advice, and installation of all your HVAC systems be it air conditioning or heating or both. Call us today for a free quote and great advice.