Winter’s here. And we’re telling our furnaces how warm we want to be and when. Or are we?
Residential thermostats control a staggering 9% of all energy use in the US. Closer to our wallets, dialing up the temperature increases energy bills. Conversely, dialing it down lowers them. How much?
The Department of Energy says, "You can save 5 percent to 15 percent a year on your heating bill -- a savings of as much as 1 percent for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long."
With figures like that, it’s no surprise that programmable thermostats that allow multiple heat settings are so popular, but several studies have shown that they’re not always used correctly. In fact, a study by Carrier found that only 53% of programmable thermostats were even in the programmable mode. Is yours?
Newer technology is making it much easier to control our energy costs. Programmable thermostats are giving way to “smart” thermostats.
Nest, for example, is a “smart” thermostat that “learns” your patterns during the first week of use and automatically self-programs to save you energy. It can also be controlled from your smart phone.
And don’t be afraid to turn down the heat. A common misconception is that lowering the temperature at night or when you’re away requires more energy to warm up your home in the morning or when you return. Not true, says the Department of Energy.
The agency states, “As soon as your house drops below its normal temperature, it will lose energy to the surrounding environment more slowly. The lower the interior temperature, the slower the heat loss. So the longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you save, because your house has lost less energy than it would have at the higher temperature.”
No matter what kind of thermostat you have, it really can help you save on your energy costs if used wisely.
- Betsy de Parry, VP Sales and Marketing, firstname.lastname@example.org
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