How to Operate Your Thermostat and Lower Your Utility Costs

HVAC

How to Operate Your Thermostat Aspen Creek Heating DenverWe’ve all done it. Looked at the little thermostat box and wondered how to use its settings and buttons to somehow get the right amount of heat or cool air circulating in our homes.

Unfortunately, mashing buttons at random can often lead to improper heating and AC settings that can drive up your utility bill unnecessarily.

Today, Aspen Creek Heating & Air explains how to efficiently operate your thermostat to potentially lower your bill while enjoying a warm and cozy home in winter, as well as keep your cool in summer.

Master Your Thermostat Buttons

When looking at this temperature control panel for both your AC and heating units, it can all seem quite confusing. What does hold, fan, and auto mean? What’s the best setting to save the maximum amount of money and still be comfortable in my home? Let’s break down how to operate your thermostat.

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, even 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.

SETTINGS: When it comes to how to operate your thermostat, this area is key. So, if you want to save energy and money, it’s typically best to put your thermostat setting to “AUTO.” In the AUTO mode, the system only moves air while your HVAC is running and shuts off when the set temperature is reached.

When your thermostat is in the “ON” setting, the blower will always be running, even if the temperature set point has been achieved. In addition, if you set and leave the fan switch to ON, it runs continuously, often an extra 200 hours a month. This puts a lot of unnecessary extra wear and tear on your system.

In summer, setting your AC fan to “AUTO” will also help decrease home humidity by giving condensation a chance to drain instead of sending it back into the home. While it does use more energy, this is just the ticket if you are trying to rid your home of a smoke smell or something you need to flush out.

Let’s recap:

Pros of keeping the thermostat 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 keeping the thermostat 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 can help save you money, so switch to this when away from your home and make sure your temperature settings are correct for optimal operation.

MANUAL vs. PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTATS

So, which one saves you more money on energy costs? Actually, they’re both equal. The real difference would be the convenience of not having to manually operate your thermostat, 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 have the system down and are not constantly touching the controls to adjust, you WILL save money.

EVEN MORE TIPS ON HOW TO OPERATE YOUR THERMOSTAT:

  • 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.
  • Be sure to install your thermostat in a proper location away from direct sunlight or drafts which can cause incorrect temperature readings and poor home comfort.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Last but not least, schedule regular maintenance for your cooling equipment and heating systems to avoid higher costs in the future with dirty filters or overused parts.

As you can see, understanding how to operate your thermostat can save you money in the long run. Plus, Aspen Creek Heating and Air is just a phone call away for fast service, and installation of all your HVAC systems be it air conditioning or heating or both. Call us today for a free quote and expert help.

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