Setting Your Thermostat When Weather is Always Changing

How do Handle Fluctuating Temperatures

New Jersey’s winter has seen its ups and downs this season. With mother nature not making up her mind, it’s possible that many of us are switching our thermostats from “heat” to “cool” as the temperature fluctuates. Some of us are even shutting off our HVAC systems altogether and opening up doors and windows.

We at Temp Control want to remind you that the key to maintaining a comfortable temperature is the thermostat. But remember also, the goal is not necessarily maintaining comfort level, it’s also about controlling our energy bills. There are arguments on both side of the dial (pun intended) for which strategies best secure our comfort and minimize energy costs. These include using a single set temperature all day, micromanaging the thermostat manually, or using a programmable for smart thermostat.

Single Setting

The general consensus among HVAC professionals is that leaving the thermostat set to one setting all day is inefficient and costly if there are no people in the house. For an HVAC unit to cycle all day to maintain a temperature, this can be expensive–especially if there are significant temperature changes that can strain the unit.

Manual Adjustment

One of the most common strategies is to adjust the thermostat when arriving home and leaving for work. If no one is going to be in the house for a few hours, there’s no reason to heat or cool for maximum comfort. However, we also do not want to over- or under-condition the air to make the system work extra hard to adjust temperatures when we return home. This can cause higher bills and also unnecessarily strain the HVAC system.

One recommendation is to keep an eye on weather forecasts before leaving the home. Then, adjust the thermostat to stay within a few degrees of the outside temperature—not enough to make the house uncomfortable but enough to keep the unit from cycling on and off during the day. For example, if you normally keep your home set for 70 degrees when it is hot out, set the thermostat to 75 or 78 when the home is not occupied. The inverse can be applied for cold weather: keep the interior temperature about 5 degrees colder than your comfort level. This requires a fair amount of attention to detail and a lot of manual adjusting of the thermostat, but it does a fair job of keeping energy costs in check.

Programmable and Smart Thermostats

The best option for comfort level and maximizing cost savings is to employ a programmable or smart thermostat. Most programmable thermostats can be “taught” or trained to accomplish the same goals as manually micromanaging a thermostat. Plus, many of the smart thermostats can be controlled from a cell phone or computer to accommodate unpredictable temperature fluctuations. Temp Control can outfit your home with a programmable or smart thermostat and teach you how to get the most of it.

None of these options will do you any good if you are not maintaining your equipment. As always, replacing filters and keeping up with routine maintenance by the professionals at Temp Control is the smart and most efficient way to ensure a comfortable home with no surprises.