Avoid Making These 7 Mistakes With Your HVAC Thermostat

Your HVAC thermostat is critical to operating your home’s heating and air conditioning. However, not everyone runs their thermostats effectively, and this can drive up operating costs and increase wear on the HVAC system. Avoid these seven mistakes to get the most from your HVAC system in Calhoun, GA, and keep your utility costs down:

Constantly Adjusting the Temperature

Sometimes, it feels like you just can’t get the right temperature as it swings from too warm to too cool. The temptation is to go to your thermostat and adjust the temperature setting. However, this only causes the system to run more frequently, increasing the number of repairs it’ll need.

Rather than going to your thermostat, consider grabbing a blanket or sweatshirt. This is especially helpful on windy and cold days where the cold seems to cut through your home. Another alternative is installing a ductless heater to boost the heat in areas where it’s difficult to manage the temperature.

Never Adjusting the Temperature

On the opposite side of the spectrum is never adjusting your thermostat, leaving it at the same temperature all day. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends adjusting your temperature when you’re away from the house for several hours. In fact, they estimate you can save about 10% of your heating and cooling costs by making these adjustments.

Using the ‘On’ Fan Setting

Your thermostat has two different fan settings, On and Auto. While On may seem intuitive, this is the wrong setting to choose. It causes the circulating fan to run constantly, regardless of whether the system is running.

The best option is to use the Auto setting. This runs the fan only when the system is running a heating or cooling cycle, reducing your energy costs.

Turning Off Your System

On the extreme side of reducing your temperature, some people shut it off entirely during the day. This is also not the best option for maintaining your home’s comfort and efficiency. When you turn off your system, it allows the humidity to build up and the temperature to swing too much.

It’s better to make smaller adjustments when you’re not going to be home. This will use some energy, but you’ll also experience some savings. Rather than shutting the system down completely, use your thermostat’s programs to make the adjustments automatically.

Using Extreme Temperature Settings

When you’re too cold or too warm, the temptation is to set your thermostat higher or lower by significant amounts. The more extreme you set the temperature, either hot or cold, the more costly it becomes to run. It also increases the number of repairs you’ll need and shortens the life of your system.

Start somewhere between 68 and 70 degrees for the winter and 75 to 78 degrees in the summer. Once the system runs a cycle or two, make adjustments of 1 or 2 degrees until you’re comfortable.

Using an On-Off HVAC Thermostat

Older thermostats were very basic, with a simple on-off function. You set the temperature and it simply turns on and off to maintain it.

At a minimum, install a programmable thermostat so that you can set the times when you’re not home. Smart thermostats are even better because they give you remote access from your mobile device. They also intelligently learn your behavior and can automatically create programs so that you don’t have to.

Poor Thermostat Placement

Finally, poor thermostat placement can wreak havoc on how it functions. Putting it near a vent, on an exterior wall, or near a window or door can lead to inaccurate temperature readings. The best place to install your thermostat is on an interior wall away from direct sunlight and your HVAC vents.

Make sure that your HVAC thermostat isn’t causing your wallet to hemorrhage by making your HVAC system run ineffectively. Call to schedule your heating repairs with our service technicians at Dalton Heating & Air and have them evaluate your thermostat.

Image provided by iStock

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