Modern furnace setting panel. Depth of field on the buttons

Why Correct Thermostat Programming Is So Important

February 27, 2017

Correct thermostat settings give you the right balance between comfort and energy savings. They can also help you avoid major repairs. Here’s what you can do to avoid these two problems.

Programmable Thermostats and Energy Savings

If you have a programmable thermostat that you haven’t been using or if you’re upgrading your controls along with your HVAC equipment, setting up an automated heating and cooling schedule could save you $180 per year. It only takes a few minutes to program the thermostat and to save money for the rest of the season. Put your savings in the bank, or invest it. There’s no need to pay the power company more than you do. Depending on the size of your home, your annual savings could be equal to an extra month of electricity for your whole house.

Thermostat Settings and AC Strain

Running the heat or air conditioner when the weather in northern Florida is too warm or too cold can cause AC strain when the compressor overheats or fails. Some compressors run smoothly at any temperature, but you don’t want to find out that yours can’t by paying for a major repair.

Never run your air conditioner when the outdoor temperature is below 65 degrees. As your Sun Kool technician may have mentioned, cooling equipment isn’t tested for use in cold weather. It’s possible that the refrigerant will be liquid rather than vapor. Liquid is difficult to compress, which means the equipment could fail. If you have a heat pump, don’t turn on the heat if the outside temperature is too warm because the unit could seize.

Ideal Settings for Your Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats function optimally when your home and away intervals are eight to 10 hours each. Frequent adjustments eat up energy, but constant temperatures boost efficiency. Experts say that every degree beyond the recommended temperature will increase your heating and cooling costs by 2 percent. Use these settings to start saving today.

Cooling Settings

  • Start the day with the thermostat set to 78 degrees.
  • Program a 7-degree setback that starts before you leave.
  • Have the thermostat lower the indoor temperature to 78 degrees before your arrival in the evening.
  • For additional savings, set the temperature back by 4 degrees at night.

Heating Settings

  • During the coldest months in Ocala, keep your thermostat around 68 degrees when you’re home.
  • Set the thermostat to warm your home to this temperature before your usual waking time.
  • Start the first 8-degree setback when you leave the house in the morning.
  • Program a temperature increase before you return in the evening.
  • Schedule another 8-degree setback at your bedtime.

If you have a heat pump, keep the temperature constant in the winter unless you have a smart thermostat that will warm the space gradually without activating the auxiliary heating components. You can use normal cooling setbacks in the summer when there’s no risk of AC strain.

Other Energy-Saving Features

Take advantage of all the programmable features to maximize your energy savings. The override function is a handy option that lets you cancel the schedule temporarily without erasing the program. The normal schedule resumes at the next setback interval. It’s great for days when the kids get home early or when your plans have changed. However, it shouldn’t be used to adjust the temperature daily. If you find that you’re using the override button often, it’s better to adjust the program.

If you’re going on vacation or traveling for work, use the hold option to override your normal schedule until you return. For maximum savings, use a full setback that’s warmer than your normal air conditioning setting or slightly cooler than your lowest heating temperature.

To learn more about the benefits of programmable thermostats, check out our range of Carrier system controls online. If you have any questions about improving your comfort, call us at Sun Kool Air Conditioning today at 877-962-2120. Our experts will be happy to provide answers or more information about the technology that’s available today.

Image provided by Thinkstock

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