Common Thermostat Questions

February 26, 2014 6:13 pm

The thermostat is the “dark horse” of the air conditioning world. It so often goes unmentioned and unrewarded, yet it is so essential. Air conditioning systems can be as up-to-date as possible, but if they are not instructed on what to do by their commander, the thermostat, they are rendered useless!

There are a few common questions that people ask us from time to time regarding thermostat settings, which we want to address in this article:

Is it a good idea to set our thermostat to a higher temperature while we are gone during the day, or does it really save money?

When you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, You’re A/C unit will not run as much, and its workload will be decreased. It is always a money saver when your air conditioner isn’t working as hard. There are some who think that it costs more money to raise your temperature during the day when you’re gone and then bring the temperature down in the evenings when you are home. This is a myth. Go ahead and raise the temp when you aren’t there.

How should the thermostats be set if there is an air conditioner upstairs and one downstairs? Should they be set the same?

This depends on whether or not you will be spending time on the second floor or not. It takes more energy to maintain the temperature on the second floor because warm air rises. If you want the temperature to be the same on both floors, go ahead and set the thermostats the same, but be aware that the second floor unit will be on more time than the first floor unit. If you are not going to be spending much time on the second floor and you’d like to conserve energy and cooling costs, consider setting the second floor unit a couple of degrees higher than the ground floor.

Our utility company has a plan that gives us a discount for not using as much energy during certain times of the day. Is it a good idea to have a programmable thermostat and set it to run less during peak hours?

Using a programmable thermostat and setting your air conditioner to run less during peak usage hours is a great way to save on your power bill. Many power companies offer incentives for this, and in the process you are doing your part to conserve energy and decrease your carbon footprint. If you are at home during the peak hours, figure out an activity that isn’t insufferable in the warmer temperatures. Your wallet will appreciate it!

Which is the best programmable thermostat to buy?

It’s hard to say which one will work best for you without knowing your specific circumstances. There are different models for the several different types of air conditioning systems. There are also different types of programming. For instance, the 5-2 programming supports one temperature schedule for the weekdays, and one for the weekends. A 5-1-1 program will maintain a different temperature on the weekdays, on Saturday and on Sunday. There is also programming for seven days that allows for different temperature settings for every day of the week. If you will give us a call at Hassell Air and let us know what type of unit you have, the size of your home, etc., we’d be happy to go over the options that will work best with your particular system, and what program would be most effective for you.

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