You’ve probably heard about the benefits of programmable thermostats and how they can cut your conditioning bills, but if you haven’t made the switch, it’s still possible to get energy savings from manual thermostats. It’s easy to change the temperature manually, along with the setting for the fan.
If you want to cut your heating bill this winter, all you have to do is make it a habit to keep it set at 68 degrees when you’re home and active and turn it down when you leave or sleep. Each degree that you turn down the heat in the winter can save you one percent on your utility bill.
Making sure that the thermostat is in the right position also helps you lower your bills. If the sun heats it, your air conditioning bills can be abnormally high in the summer. If it’s in a drafty area or near an exterior door, your heating and cooling bills could be higher throughout the year.
In some cases, manual thermostats are the best option for controlling HVAC systems. Radiant or steam heating systems take longer to cool off and warm up than forced air systems, and a programmable thermostat may leave a house too cool for comfort in the morning or when returning home.
Another HVAC application where programmable thermostats don’t work as well is with air-source heat pumps (ASHPs). These appliances rely on the warmth in the outdoor air to heat in the winter. When temperatures fall into the low 30s, the ASHP has to work harder to warm your home.
Setting the thermostat way down at night may force the electric resistance coil inside the ASHP to activate, driving up the cost to heat a home. It’s better to keep the ASHP running throughout the night to avoid triggering the coil, which uses three times the electricity than the heat pump’s compressor does to create heat.
If you’d like to learn more about manual thermostats or special heat pump thermostats that help you save energy, contact Roth Heating & Cooling. We’ve provided HVAC services for the Portland area since 1976.