The Thermostat Debate: Change It or Leave it?

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Energy Efficiency
The Department of Energy calculates that turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours will save you 5 to 15 percent on your heating bill...

Set-It-And-Forget-It Thermostat Strategy Debunked 

It’s an argument that has raged on as long as the thermostat has existed. Should you turn the heat down when you’re asleep and at work, and turn it back up again when you’re home and awake? Or should you simply turn your thermostat to a set temperature and leave it there? 

The “set-it-and-forget-it” crowd argues that turning the thermostat down makes the furnace work harder than normal when it gets turned back up, negating any savings that may have accrued from the lower setting. Intuitively, it sounds like a reasonable argument. But based on the facts, it is simply wrong.

Your House Loses Less Heat When Interior Temp Is Low

The fact is that when your house temperature drops below normal, it loses heat to the environment much more slowly than it does when the heat is at its “normal” temperature of around 68 degrees. Less work for the heating system plus less lost heat to the environment means a lot more savings, savings that are not squandered when the thermostat gets turned back up to 68. 

The Department of Energy calculates that turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours will save you 5 to 15 percent on your heating bill – a savings of as much as one percent for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.

The same principle applies to air conditioning in the summer – turn the thermostat up when you’re not around, then cool it off when you are home.  With a programmable thermostat, you can set the changes in advance, without running to the thermostat several times a day.

So as far as we’re concerned, this debate is over. Adjust your thermostat daily.


Sources:

Energy.gov: Thermostats


This article and its content are sponsored by Mitsubishi Electric US Inc., Cooling & Heating Division. 

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