It’s common knowledge that reducing your indoor winter temperature will save you money.  But what’s not common knowledge is how low and why.

You first must consider what type of system you have – either a gas furnace or electric heat pump.  If you have a gas furnace, you can set the temp as low as you can tolerate and you will truly save money.  That’s because you’re simply reducing the amount of fuel you’re using.

However, if you have an electric heat pump, it’s more complicated.  An electric heat pump extracts heat from the outside air to heat your home when outside temps are 35 F or above.  When outside temps dip below 35, back-up electric strip heaters turn on to bring your indoor temp up faster and make up for the difference.  These strip heaters are much less efficient than the heat pump.

That’s why if you own an electric heat pump, you should always keep no more than a 3 degree difference between high and low temps.  In other words, if you prefer your indoor temp to be 70 F when you are home, then don’t turn it down to lower than 67 F at night or when out for the day.  A bigger difference than this will actually cost you money in higher utility usage.  (There’s your holiday party trivia; amaze your friends and neighbors with your immense energy-saving knowledge!)

Now, when on vacation, slightly different rules apply.  If you are going to be gone for a day or longer, you can set your temp as low as your pets and houseplants will allow.  You’ll only be bringing the house back up to its normal temperature once when you return, not several times a day.

Programmable thermostats are an excellent way to keep control of this temperature without the fuss.  They are the “hvac housesitter” while you are away from home and can save hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.  See the thermostat models we recommend.

So remember, turning down the indoor winter temps will save you money.  Just know how much and when for optimal savings!  Questions, give us a call 770.271.7511.

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