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Advice on Energy-Saving Thermostat Settings for Your Heating

hand-setting-thermostatWe want you to enjoy the best possible heating in Fresno, CA or wherever you live in the Central Valley each winter. We’ve served the area for many decades and are dedicated to providing the best in heating repair, replacement, and maintenance. But sometimes what our customers need the most in the moment is good, old-fashioned advice about running their heating systems.

For example, we’d like to give you advice on how best to set your home’s thermostat during the winter so that you save money—without having to freeze! Thermostats can be as simple as a manual dial or as intricate as state-of-the-art Wi-Fi “smart” models, but at the core, they are about setting a target temperature in the house for the heater to reach. Let’s look into what settings are best for lowering costs.

Steady Wins the Race

Our first piece of advice: it’s best to keep a thermostat set steady on one temperature during long stretches of the day or night rather than making regular adjustments to attempt to find a “sweet spot.” If you have to keep adjusting the thermostat this way for comfort because you’re either too hot or too cold, that tends to mean there’s a malfunction somewhere in the HVAC system. If the heater and thermostat are working correctly, you should be able to settle on one temperature for the day when people are home, and another at night when people are asleep. This keeps the heater from having to turn on and off too often, which is when it uses the most energy.

During the Day When People Are Home…

We recommend (as does the US Department of Energy) aiming for a setting of 68°F during winter days when people are home. Compared to a setting of 72°F, this can mean around a 5% savings on heating costs. With warm clothing on, 68°F should be comfortable for most people. If you still find it too cold, we advise raising the thermostat a few degrees, and then lowering it by 1° a day until the household becomes used to 68°F.

During the Night When People Are Asleep…

People need less heat when they’re asleep and under the covers, so lower the thermostat temperature by 8°F. You’ll appreciate having a programmable thermostat in this case, since you can set it to warm the house back up to 68°F a half hour before you get up.

When the House Is Empty…

Should you have the heater on at all when nobody is around? Yes, but the recommended setting is 55°F. The reason for this is it helps protect the house from problems with frozen pipes (especially if you’re away for a few days) and it makes it easier and less expensive to warm the house back up when you get home. It’s more cost-effective to have the heater on low than to push it to warm a house that has dropped down into the 30s!

Look to Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning for heating service in the Central Valley. “Quality Is the Cornerstone of Our Success” since 1952.

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