While a winter cold snap may tempt you to push the thermostat setting higher than normal, it’s wise to avoid making the house too warm. The Department of Energy recommends setting the thermostat at 68 degrees during waking hours in most homes. Alternative methods to stay comfortable at that temperature include opening curtains and shades to let in solar heat or simply putting on an extra layer of clothes.
Here are some reasons why keeping the house too warm often isn’t cool:
It costs more.
According to the Department of Energy, for each degree above 68 degrees, heating costs increase by 1%. Therefore, by bumping the house temperature up to 78 degrees, you’ll increase heating costs by 10% for every eight-hour period.
A hotter house means more heat loss.
The rate of heat loss from your house on a cold day actually accelerates as indoor temperatures increase. For example, you’ll lose more heat due to radiation through the walls and the roof when the indoor temperature setting is pushed up to 78 degrees, as opposed to keeping it at 68 degrees. This lost heat boosts your heating bill without contributing to indoor comfort.
Furnaces operate most efficiently at a standard heating load.
Gas-fired furnaces are designed and engineered to use energy most efficiently at moderate temperatures in residential installations. Keeping a house too warm means the furnace may not be operating at optimum efficiency. Increased energy consumption and higher associated monthly expenses are the results.
Wear and tear on heating components increases.
Keeping the house too warm may mean that certain parts of the furnace — including the critical heat exchanger as well as the gas burners — are subjected to excessive wear and tear from higher operating temperatures and longer heating cycles. This can result in early failure and expensive replacement of these vital parts.
For more about ways to stay comfortable without making the house too warm, ask the pros at CCAC.