10/18/13

One Simple Change to Save You Money

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Right now, the weather in Texas is dreamy. We're having cool morning breezes, warm afternoons, and chilly nights. It's the time of year my pocketbook loves most, because we require no air conditioning and no heating, which saves us well over $200 a month. If you live further north, you may already be using your heater and I know some of you have had your first snowfall of the season. One simple change you can make this year that will save you money on energy costs, is to replace your old thermostat with a programmable thermostat. It allows you to set different temperatures for different times of the day and night, for when you're away from the home, and when you're sleeping under heavy winter blankets. Some programmable thermostats even have a "zoned system" so you can set different temperatures in multiple areas of your house so you're not spending money to heat unused areas.
Do you already have one in your home? Great! Well, here's some money-saving information about your programmable thermostat that you may not know. The location of your thermostat in your home can actually change the efficiency of your HVAC system. Your thermostat should always be located away from all vents and heating and cooling units. If it's too close, the on/off cycles will be shorter, which causes the system to start and stop more often, which in turn causes your energy costs to go up. Plus, your heating/air conditioning system is going to wear out much faster, which can cost thousands of dollars to replace. The very best location for a programmable thermostat is in an open hallway where it can regulate all of the rooms in your house as equally as possible.

In our last house, a two-story house, our programmable thermostat was centrally located downstairs. It would have been perfect placement for a one-story house, but the downstairs was always very drafty because of doors opening and closing all day long for the kids and the pets. This caused our heat to kick on every time the downstairs temperature fell beneath our temperature setting. The upstairs was almost always too hot, because the thermostat couldn't regulate the second floor, plus heat always rises. Had I understood the importance of where a programmable thermostat should be, I would have contacted the HVAC experts at a local energy company, like Bigham's One Hour in Santa Rosa, for an inspection and possible relocation to better meet the needs of that house. Our current house is a one story house and the programmable thermostat is already centrally located, so I'm hoping we'll see some savings on our heating bill this year. And we can always throw on an extra layer of clothing and snuggle to keep warm!
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