If you use a programmable thermostat for your HVAC system, change its settings for winter use. If you have a central air conditioner that uses a gas furnace, lowering the nighttime temperature at the thermostat will cut your heating costs. However, if you use a heat pump, make sure that the thermostat you have is compatible with the heat pump in its heating mode.
Thermostat Settings for a Gas Furnace
During your waking and at-home hours, keep the temperature at 68 degrees F and turn it down seven or more degrees while you’re away and at night. As you acclimatize to winter weather, you may be able to reduce overnight temperatures even more to achieve greater savings. Avoid overriding the thermostat, since continually doing so will increase heating bills. Encourage family members to dress more warmly and increase bedding to compensate for cooler indoor temperatures.
Thermostat Settings for a Heat Pump
Heat pumps require a special programmable thermostat in the heating mode. Most heat pumps have a supplementary heating coil that kicks in when the temperatures drop more than two degrees from the thermostat’s setting.
While the coil will provide the extra heat you need, it does so using much more electricity than the pump’s normal heating cycle. While a heat pump uses electricity to run, it consumes approximately one-third less than its electric heating coil. Avoiding its use whenever possible will lower electrical consumption.
Using a programmable, intelligent-recovery thermostat will turn the heat pump on regardless of how low the temperature is set and will override the supplemental coil. The thermostat calculates how long the pump has to run to bring your home up to your preferred temperature. Instead of just running longer like a gas furnace does, the heat pump will turn on periodically throughout the night to keep your home within a few degrees of your daytime temperature.
For more information about using a programmable thermostat for energy savings with a gas furnace or heat pump, contact CCAC. We provide trusted HVAC services for Coastal Bend homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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