This blog title sounds a touch ominous and mysterious, doesn’t it? But if it got your attention, then it’s done its job—because the “secret” we’re going to share here can help you save on your energy bills over the winter and give your heating system a longer, less-troubled service life.
Thermostats Are Switches, Not Throttles
That might not sound like much of a secret, but many people aren’t aware of how a thermostat controls a heating system. They’re just satisfied that it does. But if you have a bit more information about thermostats and heater—as well as how heat moves—you can operate the thermostat in a way that will cut down on how much the heater runs during winter.
The reason it’s important to know that the thermostat is a switch is because it explains its basic operation: When you set the thermostat, it turns the heating system on. When the thermostat senses that the house is at the set temperature on the thermostat, it then turns the heating system off. Even the most advanced smart thermostats work this way at their core.
This is why it’s a mistake to put the thermostat at the high setting, hoping that it means the heater will provide warmth faster. What really happens is the heater runs longer, and it ends up at a stiflingly hot temperature. The heater overworks, racking up costs and extra wear and tear, all to achieve an uncomfortably hot indoor environment.
More Heat = Faster Heat Loss
That high temperature poses another inefficiency issue. The wider the difference in indoor and outdoor temperatures, the faster the heat indoors escapes to the outdoors. If the thermostat maintains a lower (but still comfortable) temperature, the heat loss slows and the heater has less work to do to replace it.
Recommended Winter Thermostat Settings
We recommend you maintain a temperature around 68°F during the day when people are home. You may need to adjust it up and down a bit to find the ideal. Wear an extra layer of clothes if necessary to achieve a lower setting. The difference it can make in your bills and the long-term health of the heater can be significant!