As the weather continues cooling off and winter nears, the inevitable debate is what temperature to set for your furnace. Some people in your home like it warmer, but you’re concerned about the cost. Here is some information about the recommended ideal temperature and how to think about heating your home this winter.
What’s So Special About 68 Degrees?
The common recommendation for your winter thermostat setting is 68 degrees Fahrenheit. You see this recommendation because the Department of Energy has said this is the ideal temperature to keep your home comfortable without wasting energy.
Keeping your thermostat constantly set higher will cost significantly more than the change in temperature. However, the 68-degree recommendation looks at your average temperature, not the maximum setting.
Understanding Heating Strain
To better understand heating your home, you have to first understand the mechanics behind your heating system. Your furnace works by raising the temperature of the air moving through it by a certain amount, called the temperature rise. Every furnace has a temperature rise range of about 30 degrees, between 25 and 80 degrees warmer than the air entering.
The furnace then runs for a period, usually 10 to 15 minutes, to thoroughly heat your house. A problem moving air around your home, or retaining the heat, will cause your furnace to run longer. Longer heating cycles mean more fuel used, even at the recommended 68-degree setting.
Maximizing Your Comfort
You don’t have to keep your temperature always at 68 degrees to get the benefit of the DOE’s recommendation. In fact, they recommend not keeping it at the same temperature all day long.
Rather, try lowering your temperature while you’re away at work or in bed at night. The DOE also suggests that lowering your thermostat’s temperature by 7 to 10 degrees will cut your utility expenses.
If you don’t care about trimming those expenses, you can raise the temperature a little when you’ll enjoy it. For most homes, this is a temperature between 70 and 72 degrees for a few hours in the evening or over the weekend. Use your thermostat’s program settings to automate changing the temperature so that you don’t accidentally leave it high.
Feeling the Warmth
You have probably heard that warm air rises, but how does that affect your house’s heat? The heat you’ve just spent money to generate floats up to your ceiling where you don’t feel it as much. Rather, you’re left with cooler air near the floor, especially between heating cycles.
The easiest way to help reverse this is by using your ceiling fans on low using its winter setting. Over the winter, you want the fan to spin clockwise, which draws up the cooler air from the floor. This circulating movement pushes the warm air down where it’ll make your air feel more comfortable without raising the thermostat.
How Maintenance Affects Temperature
Your system’s maintenance will also affect your temperature and the energy used to achieve it. Without routine maintenance, your furnace slowly loses efficiency because of airflow restrictions, loose connections, and wearing components. Some of these problems cause the unit to retain heat rather than sending it out into your home.
When this happens, the system shuts down prematurely without heating your home properly. It’ll then run another cycle more quickly to try to achieve your set temperature. This process leads to never feeling comfortable but using considerable fuel and causing extensive wear on your system.
Making Your System More Efficient
There are a few ways to help make your system more efficient and keep your home feeling more comfortable. First, have your home checked for air leaks that allow heated air to escape and cold air to enter.
Next, have your ducts sealed and insulated. This prevents the heat from dissipating from the circulating air on the way to your vents. Finally, keep all vents open and give them at least a 2-inch clearance to provide proper circulation. Furthermore, keep as many of the doors in your home open as possible to encourage proper air circulation.
People around Mount Pleasant depend on HERO Heating & Air to keep their homes comfortable and safe throughout the winter. Our team of expert technicians provides heating and cooling installation, maintenance, and repair, as well as effective indoor air quality solutions.
Call (843) 258-1237 to schedule your heating repair or maintenance with our team today.