Every winter, many thousands of homeowners in Oregon needlessly waste energy heating their homes. Some of this waste comes from poorly maintained equipment, or heating systems that aren’t well-matched to the house. A significant amount of the waste comes from leaks in air ducts that require sealing.
However, one of the leading causes of energy waste during winter comes from something fairly easy to fix: operating the thermostat. Many homeowners take a haphazard approach to setting the thermostat over the winter, pushing it up to a high temperature whenever it’s cold and then pulling it down lower once the house becomes too warm. As we’ll explain, this is an inefficient method of heating a home.
The common thermostat error
The frequent misconception about using a thermostat is that setting it at a higher temperature will cause the heating system to warm up the house faster. Actually, the thermostat is only a type of switch. It turns the heater on and off, and when set at a higher temperature, it will keep the heater running longer until it reaches the high temperature. The result is an uncomfortably hot home and a heater that has drained too much power to reach that level of discomfort.
Another way this wastes energy is that it increases the speed of heat loss to the outside. The higher the concentration of heat indoors, the faster the heat moves outdoors. Maintaining a lower temperature means slower heat loss and increased energy savings.
An ideal way to set the thermostat
Our advice, and the advice of the U.S. Department of Energy, is to maintain a thermostat setting of 68°F during the day when people are awake. When the house is empty or people are asleep, program a setback of 8° to 10°. This can help you save up to 25% off your heating bills each winter.
Comfort Flow Heating is here to help you with quality winter comfort in Eugene, OR.