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3 Ways You’re Using Your Home Thermostat Wrong

April 16, 2018

AC maintenance summer tips

As a Floridian, you probably use your thermostat every day.

But did you know you may be using it the wrong way?

We’ll share 3 ways Florida homeowners use their thermostats incorrectly:.

  1. Setting the thermostat to ON instead of AUTO
  2. Making extreme temperature adjustments
  3. Not adjusting the thermostat back 10° while you’re gone

Let’s go into more detail about each of these common thermostat mistakes and how you can avoid them.

#1: Setting your thermostat to ON instead of AUTO

On Vs Auto Red Circle Edited

One of the easiest mistakes to make is setting your thermostat to ON instead of AUTO.

Maybe you come home to a hot house and you think switching the thermostat to ON will cool your home faster. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

You see, the ON vs AUTO switch just controls how often the blower runs. If set to ON it runs non-stop. If set to AUTO the fan only runs during cooling cycles.

When your thermostat is set to ON it just runs constantly, even when the AC isn’t actually cooling any air, which just means you’re wasting energy.

So, be sure to keep your thermostat set to AUTO instead of ON.

For more information, read our article, “ON vs AUTO: One of These Thermostat Settings Costs You More Money.”

#2: Making extreme temperature adjustments

Another common thermostat mistake homeowners make is setting the temperature super low, thinking that by doing so the AC will cool the home faster.

Unfortunately, that’s not what happens. In fact, it actually has the opposite effect: it will make your AC run longer.

And the longer your AC runs, the more energy it consumes. So by setting the temperature super low thinking your AC will cool the home faster, you’re actually just wasting money.

Do this instead: Just set your thermostat to the temperature you actually want. Try turning on a ceiling or portable fan to stay cool as you wait for your house to reach the desired temperature.

#3: Not setting your thermostat back 10° while you’re gone

This thermostat mistake is a wallet-drainer.

If you leave your AC on while you’re away from your home or apartment, you’re wasting money—nobody is there to enjoy the cool air!

That’s why the Department of Energy recommends raising your thermostat 10° during the cooling season while you’re away from home. Doing so can save you 10% per year on your cooling costs.

So, before you leave your house for work in the morning, make sure you raise your thermostat 10° (i.e. from 74° to 84°). Then when you get home after work, you can lower it back to your desired temperature.

A programmable thermostat can help...

With a programmable thermostat, you can actually input your desired cooling schedule so that the temperature automatically raises 10° while you’re gone during the day.

Let’s look at a hypothetical schedule…

  • 7:30 am — You leave your house for work
  • 4:30 pm — You leave work to go home
  • 5:00 pm — You arrive home

So if you’re desired temperature is 73°, your automatic cooling schedule might look something like this:

  • 7:30 am — The thermostat automatically raises your home’s temperature from 73° to 83°
  • 4:30 pm — The thermostat automatically starts to lower the temperature back to 73°
  • 5:00 pm — By the time you get home, you come home to a comfortable 73°

As you can see, by the time you get home from work your house will be back to your desired temperature. And the best part is that a programmable thermostat will remember to do this every day of your work week, so you don’t even have to lift a finger.

For more information about programmable thermostats, check out our related articles:

Interested in a programmable thermostat?

Just give us a call. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have or help you schedule an appointment with one of our trusted techs.

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