A simple thermostat setting to reduce energy use

Posted on Oct 26 2020 in Energy
Woman at thermostat

By Brian Reynolds

In my role as energy advisor at Jackson County REMC, I have helped members like you find ways to reduce energy use during the fall and winter months. 

For homes with heat pump systems, I like to begin at the thermostat. A simple thing you can do is to set your desired temperature and don’t adjust it more than two degrees at a time. The fewer changes you make to the temperature, the better.

I say this because adjusting the temperature more than two degrees will force your HVAC system to use more energy as it works to adjust the temperature as quickly as possible. 

For example, if it is 50 degrees outside and a thermostat is set to keep the house at 65 degrees during the day, once it starts to cool off in the evening, it makes sense to bump the temperature up to a warmer setting — say 70 degrees. 

If this is done with a heat pump, the five-degree temperature change is asking your HVAC system to be all-hands-on-deck! To do this, it will turn on what is known as auxiliary heat so the temperature can quickly rise five degrees. This is where the resistance heat coils are used and it is a less efficient way to warm the air. It is more expensive too. 

Following this simple process of setting your thermostat to a comfortable temperature and leaving it alone can help reduce your energy use this season.

BRYAN REYNOLDS is energy advisor at Jackson County REMC in Brownstown, Indiana.