The longer you’ve lived in Florida, the more time you’ve had to get used to wild swings in winter temperatures. Compared to the consistently high heat of the summer, temperatures can range anywhere from 40 to 80 degrees during the winter, and often change at a moment’s notice. Not only is this inconvenient and uncomfortable, but it makes it harder to save energy on heating. When temperatures frequently drop only to come back up again, you’ll often find your heating system on higher than it needs to be, driving up your gas and electric bill while increasing your impact on the environment.
Programmable thermostats offer a convenient solution to this heating dilemma. By setting your heating system to keep the home at the ideal temperature for different parts of the day, you allow it to use the precise amount of energy necessary to achieve and maintain that temperature. This minimizes energy waste, lowers your bills, and helps you preserve the environment.
The first step to saving energy with a programmable thermostat is to find an efficient setting for when you are awake and active in your home. For most families, that setting is 68 degrees Fahrenheit. This is widely considered one of the most efficient settings, because your heating system only uses a minimum amount of energy to achieve it. At the same time, it should keep everyone in your home comfortable and healthy throughout the winter. When outside temperatures drop into the 50s, your heating system will use just enough energy to keep your home at this temperature. But when conditions climb back into the 70s, as often happens for large portions of the winter in Florida, the system will stop warming your home until they fall again.
Program for Different Times
Once you’ve set your thermostat at a standard temperature, you can begin to program more specific instructions for different parts of the day. It’s not necessary, for example, to keep your home at the same level of warmth while you’re at work and your kids are at school. Consider programming the thermostat to stay 10 to 15 degrees cooler during that time. Likewise, after you go to bed, you’re unlikely to notice relatively minor changes in temperature; you can thus set the temperature around 5 degrees cooler for the hours when you expect to be asleep.
For best results, program the thermostat to return to its standard temperature 15 minutes or so before you plan to get home or wake up. This way, your house should be fully warm by the time you’re in it or getting ready for your day.
Pay Attention to Particulars
Once you have established settings for different parts of the day, pay attention to how your energy consumption changes over the course of the winter. If you find that your energy bill isn’t as high as it used to be, it’s a sign that the programmable thermostat is making your house more efficient. On the other hand, if your bills stay the same or even go up, consider experimenting with different temperature settings, or getting your heater inspected, as this could be indicative of other problems. You should also make sure that everyone in your house is comfortable with the temperatures that you set. The goal should be to find the perfect balance between comfort and efficiency, allowing you to keep saving energy (and money!) in the long run.
Snyder Heating & Air Conditioning offers a wide range of other products to improve comfort in your home, lower household energy use, and reduce your impact on the environment, as well as maintenance to keep your HVAC system running as efficiently as possible. For more information or to request an estimate, visit our website today.