When it comes time to adjust your thermostat, there are quite a few factors that can influence your desired setting. Personal comfort, your spouse or housemates preferences, your pets and plants needs, your plans for the day, and weather shifts may all be major influences, but after reviewing your most recent utility bill, energy cost and efficiency might be an increasingly significant factor. Be sure to avoid these common heating misconceptions.
Drastic Changes Means Quicker Changes
One of the most frequent fallacies is that drastically altering your thermostat settings will result in a quicker return to comfort. You arrive home from work and find your house to be a frigid 50 degrees. You quickly set your thermostat to 80 degrees and plan to readjust the settings once your home reaches a habitable temperature. Not only does your heater warm your home at the same rate, regardless of how dramatic the thermostat settings, but you will most likely forget to readjust the settings until your home becomes unbearably balmy. Instead, make conservative adjustments until you find the lowest, most comfortable temperature at which to set your heat (typically around 68 degrees.)
Closing the Vents in Unused Rooms Helps With Efficiency
Another mistake we often see homeowners making, is closing the vents in guest rooms, offices, and dens that they are not typically using throughout the day. While it may make sense, not heating those rooms doesn’t make your heater’s job easier. In fact, this strategy may actually lead to more work for your heater as it struggles to heat the rooms with the vents open while cold air is blowing in from the rooms without access to the heated air. A better option would be to insulate unused rooms by putting blankets or bubble wrap over the windows and leaving all your vents open.
Leaving the Thermostat at the Same Setting All Day is Better
There is some debate about whether it is more efficient to maintain one temperature constantly or to adjust your thermostat multiple times throughout the day based on home usage and outside temperature changes. Simply put, the second option is the best choice according to Energy.gov. Adjusting your thermostat by 8 degrees when you are not at home may save as much as 10% per year on your energy usage. This method is best utilized when paired with a programmable thermostat.
Space Heaters Use Less Energy
If you live alone in a large space, this one may be true for you, but it takes a little more math to figure out. A well-maintained, energy efficient heating unit may use less energy than multiple cheap space heaters throughout your home. This is especially true if your heater runs on natural gas, as it is typically much less expensive than electricity.
Smart Thermostats Save Energy
This one is a little bait-and-switch, but it is still true. Simply replacing your thermostat with a WiFi-enabled or “Smart” thermostat is not enough to start saving you money. To truly maximize your investment, you have to USE your new air handling automation. Setting up your air conditioning schedule can be a daunting process, but will end up saving time and money when done properly.
If you are looking for more fiscally responsible advice, check out this article Tips to Save Money Heating Your Florida Home.