Have you noticed higher energy bills this winter? You might want to blame them on rising energy costs or that arctic air we experienced a few months ago. Or you may be afraid there’s something wrong with your HVAC system. Your problem could be much more minor and contained to a wall-mounted box that you rarely think about – your thermostat. At Ernst Heating & Cooling of Hamel, IL, we sometimes discover that old thermostats are the culprit behind higher energy bills. Read on to find out why.
Understanding the thermostat
Your thermostat is responsible for keeping your home at a comfortable, steady temperature. When the room temperature dips above or below the set temperature, the thermostat tells your HVAC system to kick on the heat or the A/C. Ideally, your system will run until your house feels comfortable again before it takes a break and waits for the thermostat’s next message.
Things don’t always work ideally, especially if you’re relying on an older thermostat model. Let’s look at what can go wrong.
Thermostat mishaps that cost you money
Your HVAC system uses energy to run and keep your home comfortable. If the system receives the wrong message from the thermostat, it may run more often than needed or cut off before the house has had a chance to warm up or cool down to the desired temperature. Several scenarios can lead to higher energy bills:
Your thermostat needs to read the temperature. When your Ernst Heating & Cooling HVAC tech visits your home during a maintenance call, you may notice him spending time with your thermostat. One of the things he checks is whether your thermostat is calibrated to read the room’s temperature accurately. If your thermostat needs to do its job, you may find yourself fiddling with the controls and forcing your HVAC system to run more often than it needs to.
Your thermostat has lost its connection to your home’s HVAC system. Thermostats rely on separate wires that connect them to your HVAC system. These wires can deteriorate over time. You may notice that your heat or A/C never seems to turn off or doesn’t turn on when needed. That’s because the HVAC system no longer gets the message from the thermostat.
Your thermostat is set to the same temperature all day and night. Depending on several factors, most people like to nudge their thermostats up and down. For instance, you may not want to keep the heat up while your home is empty because why should you pay for the heat you’re not using? If you forget to set your thermostat before leaving for work, that’s precisely what you will do. The old-school thermostats can only be adjusted manually, meaning you must remember to set them.
The benefits of a new thermostat
If your thermostat is ten years old or more, you may be missing out on the latest money-saving thermostat technology. For instance, today’s programmable thermostats offer various options, including programmable schedules that let you plan your home’s temperatures throughout the week and weekend. You can even invest in a smart thermostat, which connects to your smartphone and allows you to control your heating and cooling from wherever you happen to be. Some models, like the Lennox® iComfort® S30, can detect when you leave your home and set your system accordingly. It also monitors the pollen counts in your area and turns on the fan to clean the air when pollen levels are high.
If you’re ready to check out new thermostat options and save on your energy bills, Ernst Heating & Cooling can help. We’ll review the different thermostat products we recommend and set you up with something that meets your needs and budget. Find out more about programmable thermostats by calling Ernst Heating & Cooling at 618.217.1836 or scheduling an online appointment.