As winter turns to spring, many Carrollton homeowners and businesses might be getting a brief reprieve from home heating bills. But the warmer weather beckons, and with it, it’s your air conditioning’s turn to take a bite out of your budget. Before you stock up on box fans in hopes of cutting your bills, let’s look at an alternative that can save money and save your sanity at the same time: your thermostat.
Before we go any further, it helps to know what you’re dealing with. Most homes and businesses served by Medley Services will have one of four types of thermostats. There’s a manual thermostat, which looks like a simple dial on your wall and requires manual adjustments. There’s a non-programmable digital thermostat, which replaces the dial with buttons and a digital display. There’s a programmable thermostat, which gives you limited control over time and temperature settings. And finally, there’s a smart thermostat, which often pairs with your smartphone, can learn settings based on occupancy, and can integrate within a smart home. How you approach the steps that follow will be determined, in part, by the kind of thermostat you have.
Four Thermostat Tips to Save Money
Time Your Changes
One of the most common ways we waste money on heating and cooling is by failing to adjust for periods of time when nobody’s home. If everyone’s at work and school during the day, there’s nothing wrong with keeping your space a few degrees warmer in the summertime, or letting it cool a bit in the winter time. If you prefer to keep a more consistent temperature — whether it’s because there’s always someone home, or you’d like to keep your pets comfortable while everyone’s out — it’s best to set your thermostat to 78 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter. As energy.gov notes, “The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.”
Adjust to Family Schedules and Occupancy
Maybe 78 degrees is a bit too warm for everyone’s tastes in the summertime, or 68 degrees is a bit too chilly in the winter. Besides giving it time for everyone to adjust, we also suggest switching thermostat settings at night when everyone’s asleep. If that’s not possible — if, for instance, one of you works the night shift while everyone else works days — then figure out a setting everyone can live with, and keep it consistent.
Understand How Your HVAC System Works
When you have a day that’s much warmer or cooler than normal, it can be tempting to make a brief but drastic change to your thermostat setting. Bear in mind, however, that the system is working to heat or cool a large space, and it’s going to take the same amount of time to change the temperature of that space by degrees no matter what you’ve set the thermostat on.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats have a number of advantages when it comes to saving money. Because they’re controllable via smart devices, you can change settings on the fly — which comes in handy if the kids’ school day is cut short, or when you’re coming back from vacation, since you can bring your home to your desired temperature a bit ahead of time. From times and temperatures to occupancy levels, smart thermostats account for large amounts of data to perform better and save you money; some will even suggest changes to settings. Most homeowners find that they recoup the small investment in a smart thermostat very quickly thanks to the money they’re saving on utilities.
A smart thermostat is a somewhat more involved installation, especially if you want it to integrate properly within a smart home, or with other smart devices (like Alexa or Google Home). So if you live in the Carrollton area, it’s a good idea to get in touch with Medley Services for thermostat installations by professionals. For these and other home heating and cooling needs, reach out to our HVAC experts today!