During the winter months in Louisville, Kentucky, the low temperature often drops to the 20-30 degree range, so keeping your home warm and comfortable can pose a challenge. Most home HVAC systems include a programmable thermostat, but programming it to maximize comfort can make a big difference in the way your home feels. However, adjusting it too drastically can cause a major increase in your monthly bills. Follow these tips to maintain comfort without draining your wallet or wasting energy.
Figure Out the Right Temperature
When you keep your HVAC system too low during the winter, you’re increasing the risk of frozen pipes, which can cause a lot of damage to your home. The frozen water in the pipes can cause cracks and other damage, and in the spring, as the weather gets warm again, that water will seep out through the broken pipes and destroy flooring, drywall, and other materials. Frozen pipes are tough to detect, although you might notice that not much hot water comes through the tap.
Setting your thermostat too high during the winter might feel good, but it can cost a lot of extra money. As you program your thermostat for the winter, set it at around 68 degrees at times when you’re awake and at home. This temperature will feel comfortable without drastically changing the cost of your monthly utility bills, and since you’re probably wearing warmer clothes, you should feel pretty good. If this feels too cold, try raising the temperature by one or two degrees. You may be surprised at how quickly your body adjusts to the new setting.
Turn it Down When You’re Away
During times when you’re at work, asleep, or on vacation, keep the thermostat set between 58 and 60 degrees. This might seem downright chilly, but when you’re snuggled under a heavy comforter, it’s unlikely that you’ll feel too cold. Maintaining this temperature when you’re away from the house will also eliminate the risk of frozen pipes since the air has to drop to 32 degrees or lower to run that risk.
Leave the Thermostat Alone
Take a few minutes to program your thermostat for the week and then do your best to leave it alone. Constantly adjusting the temperature causes your HVAC system to kick on and off more often, which takes extra energy. As a result, you’ll likely see a spike in energy bills when you make adjustments frequently throughout the day. The benefit of a programmable thermostat is that you don’t have to babysit it all day. Instead, you can usually set it for the week. This is helpful as most homeowners have similar schedules during the week.
Don’t Go Crazy
If you walk into your home and it feels cold on a chilly winter day, you can make some adjustments without altering your presets. However, raising the thermostat to 85 degrees won’t make the house get warm any faster. Instead, your heating system will run consistently until it reaches that level, which will feel uncomfortably hot. Simply adjusting by a few degrees will improve the comfort without costing as much or wasting energy. If you’re trying to save money this winter, cozy up beneath a blanket or wear layers when you’re at home.
Consider an Upgrade
If you’re not thrilled with the settings on your programmable thermostat, you may want to upgrade to a smart thermostat. These thermostats’ innovative options make it easier to adjust the temperature, even when you’re away from home, thanks to an app that’s accessible on your smartphone or tablet. Smart thermostats can also track the outside temperature and automatically adjust when the weather changes drastically.
If you want to save energy, this option can make changes based on usage and movement in the home for reduced waste. Smart thermostats are very popular, especially among tech-savvy people who are tired of the typical thermostat that requires manual adjustments.
If your home’s heating system isn’t keeping up with your needs or the thermostat is malfunctioning, our team at One Choice Mechanical, LLC can keep you comfortable throughout the winter. Call us at (502) 242-8204 today!