Homeowners here in Trinity, FL, just like everywhere else, like to save money on their heating and cooling bills. If you’re one of them, you’ve probably considered tweaking your thermostat’s settings to achieve that. With that in mind, we’d like to know if you believe any of the following five thermostat myths.
1. Keeping Your Home at a Constant Temperature Saves Money
One thermostat myth we hear often is about when it’s appropriate to raise or lower a home’s temperature. Plenty of people believe that keeping their home at a constant temperature saves money. The idea is that HVAC systems use more energy to raise and lower temperatures versus maintaining stable temperatures.
The truth is that most HVAC systems use the same amount of energy whenever they’re on. So, you’ll certainly save money by reducing your HVAC use while you’re out. The only time this isn’t true is if you only leave the house for short lengths of time.
2. A One-degree Temperature Change Won’t Affect Costs
A one-degree temperature shift in your home is so small that you likely won’t feel the difference. That’s why there’s a common misconception that raising or lowering your thermostat by a degree won’t affect your energy bills. That’s not true, however.
The Department of Energy estimates that each degree of temperature change equals approximately 1% of your costs per eight hours. It may not sound like much, but that adds up fast. So, if you won’t feel the difference, why not change your thermostat by a degree to save money?
3. Your HVAC Works Faster if You Set an Extreme Temperature
It’s tempting to believe that setting your thermostat as high or low as it goes will make your home heat or cool faster. The idea is so pervasive that people will swear their HVAC system works harder when they set an extreme temperature. Most won’t ever time the cooling or heating process to test the theory.
The thing is, however, most HVAC systems have only two settings, on or off. That means your home’s temperature will change at the same rate no matter what temperature you set on your thermostat. So, your best bet is to set your thermostat to the temperature you want and leave it there.
4. It Doesn’t Matter Where Your Thermostat Is in Your Home
If you’re like most people, you own a home that had an HVAC system already installed when you moved in. For that reason, you may not have given much thought to the placement of your home’s thermostat. Since there’s no uniform location for thermostats inside homes, it’s a popular myth that their location doesn’t matter.
Nothing could be further from the truth. If your thermostat is too near to a register or a window, it can have a big effect on the performance of your HVAC system. Ideally, thermostats shouldn’t be near vents, windows, or appliances, so they will accurately represent your home’s temperature.
5. Your Thermostat’s Why Your Home’s Temperature Won’t Stabilize
Another myth we encounter all the time is that a faulty thermostat’s always to blame for fluctuating indoor temperatures. Believers of this myth go looking for a new thermostat the moment their home doesn’t stay at their desired temperature. Most of the time, though, a new thermostat won’t help.
If your home won’t maintain a stable temperature, it’s more likely that something’s wrong with the HVAC system itself. Or maybe your home needs its ductwork cleaned to allow adequate airflow to reach its intended destination. Either way, blaming your thermostat won’t help, and you’ll need an expert to find the real problem for you.
Advice From the HVAC Experts
There’s no doubt that your thermostat plays a key role in keeping your home’s temperature where you want it. Also, there are some changes you can make to your thermostat that will affect your heating and cooling costs. Unfortunately, not everything you hear about thermostats is accurate, as the myths above demonstrate.
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