The winters in Florida are famously mild, which is one of the reasons the state is among the top tourist destinations in the U.S. during this time of year. However, we still encounter colder days when we need to raise the thermostat settings to turn on our heaters. Because homeowners here are far less used to operating heating systems than in other parts of the country, they often make errors with setting the thermostat during the winter. This often leads to energy waste and discomfort.
Here’s how to make the best use of your thermostat during winter
First, make sure that you have a good, up-to-date thermostat for your house. If you have a unit that’s more than 10 years old, it’s probably time to install a new thermostat with more features. Old manual thermostats are not only inaccurate, they don’t allow for the finer control that programmable and “smart” thermostats allow. Just making the upgrade to an advanced thermostat model will make a difference in your seasonal bills as well as your comfort. (Keep in mind, these advantages also apply to summer air conditioning!)
Second, maintain a steady lower temperature setting on the thermostat rather than pushing it to its highest setting and then lowering it when it gets too hot. This back and forth is wasteful of energy for a number of reasons. The higher the temperature in your house, the faster it loses heat to the outdoors. When the temperature is lower, the heat loss is also lower, and you’ll waste much less energy. Also keep in mind that putting the thermostat at a higher setting doesn’t mean the heater delivers warmth any faster. It simply keeps the heater working longer… all to reach an uncomfortably hot temperature that you don’t want at all.
Our advice is to set your thermostat at 68°F during the day time when people are awake in the house. When people are asleep or the house is empty, program the thermostat to lower the temperature by 8° to 10°. (See why going programmable is so helpful?) This can mean saving up to 25% of your heating bills during the winter.
Southeast Air & Heat offers quality heating services for homes in Lake Nona, FL.