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How Old and Misused Thermostats can Create Higher Utility Bills

We spend a lot of time and money making sure that our HVAC equipment is working effectively and efficiently. After all, a fully functional heater or air conditioner uses less energy to treat your home’s air supply, significantly lowering your utility bills. But there’s one essential appliance that often gets left out of our maintenance routines – the thermostat.

An old, broken, or misused thermostat is just as capable of raising your bills as an old heater or an inefficient air conditioner. Your thermostat is the control center for your entire HVAC system, and when it can’t accurately read or adjust the temperature, your other equipment suffers and performs less efficiently, using up more energy.

Break Your Bad Thermostat Habits

If your utility bills are getting higher, there are simple steps you can take right now, without needing to get your thermostat serviced. One of the biggest money-wasters when it comes to your thermostat is over-using it. When you spend too much time adjusting the temperature, or trying to maintain an “ideal” temperature, your heater and air conditioner have to do a lot of work to make that happen. Using your thermostat more conservatively can help you start cutting down on costs right away.

Costly Thermostat Habits Include:

  • Setting your thermostat to extreme temperatures to try to get it to work faster – this will just make your HVAC system run for a longer time and use more energy
  • Keeping your thermostat at the same temperature 24/7, even when you’re not at home to enjoy the treated air
  • Fiddling with your thermostat constantly throughout the day, which puts your heater and AC through a lot of stress as they try to keep up with the constant temperature changes

An Old Thermostat is and Expensive Thermostat

What if you’re doing everything right, but still losing money? The problem may lie with your thermostat itself, not the way you’re using it. Your thermostat may need recalibration or repairs, or it may have reached the end of its lifespan. If you notice any of the warning signs below, it may be time to contact a professional to get a new, more efficient thermostat installed.

Signs that Your Thermostat Needs Replacing or Repairs Include:

  • Your HVAC system doesn’t turn on when you adjust the temperature
  • Short cycling
  • The temperature displayed is consistently incorrect
  • Fluctuating indoor temperatures
  • Your energy bills have gone up
  • Your thermostat is over 10 years old

Programmable Thermostats can Help You Save

One way to ensure that your thermostat won’t waste money is to invest in a programmable model. This will allow you to pre-set your temperature controls and customize your home’s HVAC system. When you’re away from home, you can set your system t use less energy, or pre-cool or heat your home before you arrive back so you don’t have to crank the temperature up or down and overwork your equipment. Plus, programmable thermostats will remember your temperature preferences and automatically adjust your thermostat, so you won’t be tempted to constantly fiddle with it.

Do you need professional help with your thermostat? Call (703) 457-8676 today for help from the experts at Donmar Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing!