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Proper Thermostat Handling for a Texas Winter

setting-thermostatIt’s the end of the year, and we’re experiencing bone-chilling temperatures here of around … let’s see … 67°F during the day. Yes, not exactly the Blizzard of 1888 (fun facts on that, if you’re interested) and not quite the temperatures that will make you depend on your home heating system. 

But the mild temperatures of winter do pose a challenge to us because finding the ideal setting on the thermostat can be tricky. Sometimes days will warm up just enough that you’ll need the AC running, and then the next day drop down just cool enough to have the heater come on. If you’re moving the thermostat setting up and down all the time, that’s probably creating energy waste without giving you the comfort results you want. 

No Matter the Temperature, Remember these Two Facts…

These two facts will help you understand the “why” of how the thermostat is set.

  1. Heat loss or heat gain slows down the closer indoor and outdoor temperatures are to each other. This is why extreme temperature settings on a thermostat are so wasteful. Cranking the heat up too far means heat leaves the house faster. Blasting the air conditioning causes heat to move into the house faster. Aim to find a temperature inside that’s comfortable but also as close as possible to the outside temperature.
  2. The thermostat is a switch, not a throttle. You won’t get more heating or cooling delivered faster with extreme high or low settings. You’re only telling the heater or AC to stay on for longer. Steady settings are better for energy efficiency and comfort. 

Now let’s look at the recommended thermostat settings.

When You Have the Heater On

Set the thermostat at 68°F during the day when people are home. This is a comfortable enough temperature for most people. Most of the time, the heater won’t even need to turn on or stay running for long. Lower the temperatures further at night or when the house is empty, usually around 60°F. 

When You Have the AC On 

The best daytime setting for staying cool is 78°F, and with proper ventilation, open windows, and fans you may not even need to have the AC running until the temperature has risen into the 80s. At night time or when the house is empty, raise the temperature by 8°F to 86°F.

A Smart Thermostat Is a Great Help

The best way to avoid having to change the programming regularly on the thermostat to adjust to days that are hot or cold is to have a special “smart” thermostat installed. This thermostat learns from your patterns of climate setting and from the house conditions to create its own programs that maximize energy use. In our area, this kind of thermostat is especially beneficial, since it adapts to our mild climate and can change between heating and cooling easily. 

Get in touch with us for thermostat installation, as well as AC and heating repair in Katy, TX whenever you run up against serious comfort trouble. 

At AC Comfort, “Your Comfort Is Our Business!” Reach out to us today if you need help with your heating and cooling. 

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