Should You Set Back Your Thermostat?

One topic that there seems to be a lot of back and forth on (pun intended) is should you set back your thermostat to conserve energy? Due to the popularity of programmable thermostats, setting your heating system to regulate the temperature in your home based on the time of day is easier than ever, but does it really make that much of a difference? 

Know Your Thermostat

There are so many different types of programmable thermostats available. They come in a wide range of prices and features. Some allow you to set a 5 day and 2 day block (ie: Weekdays and weekends) while some allow you to program each day individually. In the case of some of the new technology wi-fi thermostats, you can even make adjustments remotely from your smartphone.

Regardless of the type of programmable thermostat you have, understanding how it works and its specific recommendations on use is very important. Make sure to take the time to read the instructions to ensure it is being used to its potential.

Saving Energy When You Set Back Your Thermostat

While this is always being debated, if you have a standard furnace heating system, when you set back your thermostat, it can result in energy savings. According to, “By turning your thermostat back 10° to 15° for 8 hours, you can save 5% to 15% a year on your heating bill.” That equates to about 1% energy reduction per single degree. Not too bad. If your family has a fairly regular schedule, to set back your thermostat for an 8 hour period during the day, while the outside temperatures are warmer, you will probably not notice the difference.

You May Not Want To Set Back Your Thermostat If…

There are several situation where you may not want to set back your thermostat though. In cases where you have an alternative heat source, consistency actually works better. Geothermal, baseboard heat, and radiant floor heating systems do not provide the same energy savings when the thermostat is set to change on a regular basis. Most heat pump systems also do not recommend using a programmable thermostat as it can cause them to work inefficiently.

Other Considerations

There are some other factors that you need to take in to account when deciding if it makes sense to set back your thermostat. The age and condition of your home. The amount of insulation you have and the efficiency of your windows and doors can all affect the viability of temperature adjustments. If there is a lot of heat loss while the thermostat is set back, it will  take more time and energy for it to regulate back to a comfortable temperature.

If you would like to learn more about your thermostat options, simply login to your HomeNav Dashboard and find Thermostats under the Feature Types section. If you do not have a HomeNav account yet, you can get one for free here.

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