If you feel like you're waging a constant war against temperatures that are too high or too low in your Tallahassee, Florida home, the problem may not be your furnace or air conditioner, but your thermostat. If you are not using the most efficient settings to control your HVAC system, your home comfort will suffer as a result. If you don't have a programmable thermostat, or the options on your current thermostat don't allow you to incorporate your schedule effectively, installing a new thermostat could make a big difference.
How Programmable Thermostats Work
Programmable thermostats record several settings and adjust your indoor temperatures at pre-scheduled points in the day. There are thermostats that allow you to program settings according to your schedule throughout the week:
- 7-day models for each day of the week
- 5-2 models for settings Monday through Friday, and another for the weekend
- 5-1-1 models for settings Monday through Friday, and then separate settings for Saturday and Sunday
How to Program Your Thermostat
A new programmable thermostat provides the functionality you need to improve home comfort and lower energy costs, but you must use it properly to actually reap these benefits. You will typically select different temperatures for times when you are away, asleep, and at home. Adaptive recovery thermostats will begin adjusting the temperature before the designated time, so your home reaches the proper temperature right on cue. For example, if you set the thermostat to increase the temperature ten degrees when you wake up at 7 a.m., it will actually turn on the heat at 6:30 so the temperature has reached the appropriate set point by the time you get out of bed.
You will maximize your energy savings by maintaining set points for at least eight hours at a time. You reduce efficiency if you change your settings every few hours. While you can always override the settings to make spot adjustments during the day to accommodate a change in schedule, avoid doing so as much as possible, as this decreases your efficiency as well.
Added Benefits of a New Thermostat
Upgrading to a new thermostat won't just increase your home comfort. It will also lower your energy bill. Properly programming your thermostat can help you save around $180 a year in heating and cooling costs. If you use a zoned system, you can increase your savings even more by minimizing your heating and cooling in empty areas of the house, such as unused guest bedrooms.
Some systems also let you make adjustments remotely. This gives you a new level of control over your home. You can override your temperature settings when you are not home, or adjust the settings even when you're out of town.
Adjusting Your Habits for Peak Efficiency
Turn your thermostat back just seven to 10 degrees for a period of eight hours a day and you can save up to ten percent a year on energy costs. In winter, keep your home as cool as you comfortably can, particularly at night and when you are asleep and can take advantage of blankets and thicker sleepwear. Dress appropriately for the cooler weather so that you are not tempted to turn up the heat.
System Care and Maintenance
Your entire HVAC system needs regular care and maintenance to stay in peak condition. You should schedule a twice annual tune-up with a professional HVAC technician. Book one visit for spring to have your air conditioner inspected before summer, and one in fall to get your furnace ready for winter. Your technician will inspect your thermostat at both visits to make sure it is operating properly and reading temperatures correctly. If your thermostat runs on batteries, make sure you change them once a year even if the unit says your batteries are fine. This is the best way to avoid any problems later on.
If you are ready to explore your options for a new, more efficient system, contact Air Control Heating & Cooling, Inc. today at 850-391-4300. We carry a wide selection of programmable thermostats including Performance Edge, Infinity, Côr, and Carrier products. After a detailed discussion of your habits, budget, and home comfort needs, we will help you to select and install the perfect thermostat for the job.
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