Leave That Thermostat Alone

It may make sense at first to shut off the air conditioner when you’re going to be away from your home for the day, or to crank your thermostat lower to cool your house faster upon your return. Unfortunately, doing these very things can actually raise your heating and cooling bill and increase your energy consumption, without really achieving the intended objectives.

It’s 81 degrees in your house, and 95 degrees outside. You go to crank your thermostat down to 70 degrees and four hours later, your house is now at a temperature of 78 degrees. You also notice that you don’t think you’ve heard the air conditioner shut off at any point in the last four hours. As you can imagine, at this rate your home isn’t going to get down to 70 degrees any time soon, and with your air conditioner running at full capacity for hours and hours on end, visions of sky high energy bills start to fill your head.

The truth is that most air conditioners do not have variable speed handlers, which adjusts output to match demand. Most homes have AC units with one fan speed – ON. This means cranking the thermostat to 70 to get it to that temperature faster isn’t going to make a difference; the air is going to remain moving at a set rate of speed. By undercutting the desired temperature, the only thing you’re doing is wasting  energy and money.

If you’re out all day with the air conditioning off, it’s going to take a massive amount of work for your system to be able to bring a stifling hot house down to the temperature you are comfortable with. It’s best to turn your thermostat up a bit, but not off while you’re away. When you return you should gradually lower the thermostat as needed.

The ideal solution is to invest in a programmable thermostat, which can let the house warm a bit during your time away and gradually lower the temperature to the right level before you return. Magnolia Plumbing Heating and Cooling is a certified company for air conditioning in Fairfax, VA and surrounding Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia areas and can install one for you. Setting the thermostat up 7-10 degrees while you’re away can not only save you up to 10% on your bills each month, but can also allow you to leave that thermostat alone!

Magnolia is there when you need us for all of your heating and cooling needs. Contact us today for information on a programmable thermostat, air conditioner replacement, maintenance programs  or any other questions regarding home comfort. We proudly service Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland and surrounding areas.


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