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Should You Leave Your Thermostat on One Temperature or Change It?


The thermostat is the key to keeping your house a comfortable temperature during the scorching summer and cold winters. And everyone seems to control their thermostat differently — some micromanage their temperature settings, changing them constantly, while others set it to one temperature and hardly ever change it. If you find yourself constantly turning the thermostat up for heat in the winter and down for cooling in the summer, read on to find out the most efficient way to set your thermostat.

Pros of Leaving Your Thermostat at One Temperature

People leave their thermostats at constant temperatures for various reasons. Some simply find the steady temperature comforting, while others just don’t want to go through the effort of changing it all the time. But as it turns out, the only real pro to keeping your thermostat one temperature is convenience. Sure, when you’re away on vacation or gone for the weekend, the consistent temperature is efficient, but when you’re at home, there are really no additional benefits.

Cons of Keeping Your Thermostat at a Constant Temperature

The biggest takeaway here is that leaving your thermostat at a consistent temperature can actually be an inefficient way to run your HVAC when you're at home. Here's how:

Consistent Temperatures Can Cause Heat Energy Leakage

In most cases, leaving the thermostat temperature constant is aimed at keeping the thermal energy (heat) inside the homes constant. Consequently, inside the house will often be warmer than the outside.

To understand how this works, let’s talk about how heat moves from one area to another. Heat is transferred from a region of high concentration to a region of low concentration. As a result, the heat energy required to maintain the temperature at the hotter region includes the energy “leaked” to the other end. The higher the temperature difference between the two points, the faster the heat loss to the surrounding area.

The same applies to house temperatures. The higher the temperature inside compared to the outside, the more rapidly energy leaks out. Maintaining this energy leakage can seriously rake up your utility bill.

The Most Efficient Way To Control Your Thermostat

To help you run your HVAC more efficiently and help you save money on your utility bill, there are a couple of tips you can follow:

Follow the Eight-Hour Routine

The easiest way to remember to change your thermostat settings is to follow your work routine, or an eight-hour routine. In other words, change your thermostat to a more efficient setting when you leave for work and then change it back when you come home.

The most efficient settings reduce energy leakage. In other words, try to get as close to the outside temperature as possible without making your home uncomfortable. Obviously, you don’t want to set your home to 90 when it’s 90 outside or 40 in the winter. The Florida Public Service Commission recommends setting your thermostat to 65 in the winter and 78 in the summer. These temperatures would be the energy-efficient choice for when you're not home.

Making just a few adjustments can have a big impact. Little changes like this can reduce your utility bill by 15%.

The Benefit of Programmable Thermostat

If you want the ideal solution for energy efficiency, opt for a programmable thermostat. After a few days of routine adjustment, the programmable thermostat will begin doing the work for you. On average, those who let it do the job for them save more than thermostat micromanagers.

If you’d like to learn more about your options, the experienced team at David Gray HVAC can help. Get started today!