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Mediterranean Heating and Air

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Why Putting Your Thermostat on the Highest Heat Setting Is a Bad Idea

Since 1968, our company has focused on helping homes and businesses in Southern California save energy throughout the year. One place where we often find homeowners wasting money needlessly is with how they set their thermostat—especially during the winter. Why winter in particular? Because Southern Californians simply lack extensive experience handling thermostats during this time of year because of the mild winters. Too often, when the outdoor temperature drops, people here are likely to push their thermostats up to the highest settings, and then pull them back when it gets too hot indoors. This is wasteful and ineffective way to heat a home.

Clearing up some major misunderstanding about thermostats

There are two reasons why setting a thermostat at its maximum is an unwise way to go about warming up a home:

  • First, a thermostat doesn’t make the heating system (regardless off its type) work harder when set at a higher temperature. A thermostat is not a throttle; it’s a switch that determines when the heater turns on and off. You will not get better heat any faster; you will only commit the heater to stay on longer—all to achieve a temperature that will be too hot for you anyway!

  • Second, the lower the interior heat, the slower the heat loss the exterior. You want to keep your home’s warmth at a lower level so you won’t rapidly lose it all to the outside. At a higher temperature, the extra heat leaves the house rapidly so all that additional energy simply goes to waste.

The best way to use your home’s thermostat to maintain a temperature that will reduce heat loss to the outside and prevent the heater from running too long and is to place it a stable temperature of around 68°F during the day when everyone is awake. This is a comfortable temperature for most people. At night program a setback temperature of 8° to 10° lower than during the day. Doing this should reduce your heating bills during winter by up to 25%.

Call on Mediterranean Heating and Air Conditioning when you’re looking for help with your residential heating in Tarzana, CA this winter.

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