Ever wonder what all those settings on your thermostat mean? Have you found yourself wishing you knew how to use them all? Modern thermostats have a variety of modes that help you manage your home’s temperature and economize its energy efficiency. While these settings are a game-changer for households in Phoenix, that doesn’t mean they’re intuitive or easy to use. In fact, using them improperly can cause your HVAC system to work harder than necessary or make your residence uncomfortable.
That’s why Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical in Glendale put together this simple guide to help you get the most out of your thermostat. You’ll learn all the major modes your thermostat has to offer so that you can tailor your heating and cooling needs to fit your schedule. Not only is this convenient, but you’ll also love seeing lower energy bills and experiencing fewer costly HVAC emergencies. You’ll learn how to manage your thermostat when you’re spending time away from your home as well, whether that means a few hours for work or weeks on vacation.
The temperature setting controls how hot or cold you’d like your home to feel. Most thermostats have a dial or arrows to control the temperature. Turning the temperature up will make your house feel warmer, while turning it down will introduce cooler air. Not only does this directly impact the comfort of your residence, but it also plays a role in energy efficiency and long-term performance. In other words, the harder your AC and furnace work, the more energy they consume and the quicker their parts wear out.
You can use the temperature dial to override any temperature programmed into the thermostat. For example, if you’re feeling extra hot after taking a long run on a summer day, you can bring your thermostat down a degree or two. After a couple of hours, your thermostat will return back to its normal daily or weekly programming.
According to the professionals, the ideal temperature setting is 68 degrees during winter and 75 degrees in summer. But, if you don’t find those temperatures comfortable, you can adjust by one degree at a time until you determine what works best for you. This technique ensures you have an ideal balance between comfort and energy efficiency.
2. Heat and Cool
In addition to the temperature dial, you’ll also notice settings called heat and cool. This setting determines whether the thermostat communicates with the air conditioner or the furnace. When your system is switched to heat, the air conditioner will not kick on no matter how low you program the temperature and vice versa. As a rule of thumb, you should use the heat setting when the weather outside is cold and cool when it’s hot and muggy. Once you’ve selected your desired setting, you can use the up and down arrows to further customize your comfort level.
When you set the fan to on, it will run all day without pause. It will also run regardless of the temperature the thermostat is programmed to. While this may feel great in terms of air circulation, you’ll definitely feel the impact of around-the-clock energy consumption when your utility bill arrives. It can also cause components, especially the fan, to wear out quicker than average. That’s why many homeowners opt for the auto setting, which we’ll discuss below.
Between the settings for heat and cool should be an off setting. This setting will tell your thermostat to not change the temperature in your home. Instead, the ductwork will simply circulate room temperature air throughout your house. Think of this setting as turning your HVAC into a ceiling fan for your entire house. This is a great way to keep the air in your home feeling and smelling fresh. Here in Phoenix, many homeowners use the setting during spring and fall when the weather is pleasantly mild.
Most modern thermostats have a third option besides on and off. This setting is called auto. When the auto setting is activated, your HVAC fan will turn itself off and on throughout the day instead of running 24/7. It will turn itself on to reach the temperature you programmed into the thermostat, then turn back off once that temperature has been reached. This setting is popular among homeowners because it’s energy-efficient and can help lengthen the lifespan of your heating and cooling system.
6. Run and Hold
Programmable thermostats allow you to set up a schedule for your HVAC system. You can completely customize your house’s heating and cooling schedule to meet your needs whether you’re at home on the weekend or out and about during the week. Switching to the run position will tell your HVAC system to follow the schedule.
On the other hand, the hold setting allows you to pause the schedule. This is a great option if your daily routine is disrupted by a day off, sick day, or long holiday weekend. Simply use the thermostat setting to input a new temperature, and you’re on your way! You can leave the thermostat on hold for as long as you need whether it’s a few hours or multiple days. In fact, you can save money while on vacation by setting your thermostat to an energy-saving temperature, and then switching it to hold. Once you’re ready to get back to your old schedule, simply switch it back to run.
7. Home and Away
A programmable thermostat can learn your schedule, including when you’re home versus away. With this setting, you can set your thermostat to a particular temperature when you’re at home and a totally different temperature for when you’re at work or school. Even reducing your HVAC system’s workload by one or two degrees throughout the day can significantly cut your energy consumption and associated costs. Smart thermostats take this setting a step further because they can learn your schedule based on your habits and feedback via an app.
Your Furnace and AC Pros
Getting to know the many settings on your thermostat will help you optimize your household’s comfort and maximize its energy efficiency. In addition to those outstanding benefits, your HVAC system should also last longer and experience fewer mechanical failures and costly repairs.
Are you interested in learning more about how to make your home heating and cooling system more energy-efficient? We can help! Here at Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical, we offer trusted maintenance, installation, and repair services for furnaces and air conditioners. Our annual maintenance plans and prompt repairs will optimize your system’s performance, efficiency, and lifespan. And, if your current unit is reaching old age, we can replace with it a more dependable model by a trusted manufacturer. Our goal is to be your go-to partner for your home’s HVAC needs. Our NATE-certified technicians have proudly served the Phoenix area for over 40 years.
Looking to get the most out of your heating and cooling system? Call Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical in Glendale today.