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Careful with Those Winter Thermostat Settings!

The weather in Las Vegas has cooled down to the point where we can actually call it “cold.” (Although somebody from Wisconsin would probably fall down laughing if they heard that.) If you’ve got your heat pump or furnace working to provide pleasant warmth for the close of the year, make sure that you aren’t running it in a way that wastes energy. Because we don’t run our heaters that often, it’s easy for us to fall into traps about how best to set the thermostat.

The Big Mistake: Pushing the Thermostat Up Too High

People often use a thermostat as if it had only two settings: “Off” and “Highest Temperature Possible.” When they feel cold, they put the thermostat to the top setting to get warmed up as quickly as possible. When it gets too hot, they push the setting all the way down.

There’s some… problems with this.

  • First, a high setting on a thermostat doesn’t make the heating system warm up the home faster. Not at all! It’s only committing the heater to stay on longer until it reaches that stiflingly hot temperature. There’s no benefit to pushing it up that high unless you really want the house to be too warm.
  • Second, doing this places higher strain on the heater since it must run for longer than necessary. This leads to higher heating bills over the season and makes it easier for the heater to suffer from a malfunction. It can contribute to shortening the system’s service life as well.
  • Third, the higher heat levels means heat leaves the house faster. When there is lower temperature difference between the indoors and outdoors, the heat loss is slower and the heater has an easier time replacing it. If it’s 48°F outdoors, a setting of 68°F is much more energy efficienct than a setting of 85°F because the heat loss slows down.

Handling steady lower temperature settings (68°F during the day when people are home, dropping down by 8°F when the house is empty and when people are asleep) is much easier with an upgraded thermostat. Call us to arrange for a great new thermostat installation.

For fast, reliable service, contact Lee AC & Heating Services for all your heating and cooling needs in Las Vegas, NV and the surrounding areas.

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