It’s officially fall! School has started and temperatures are beginning to drop. Seems like a great time to test – and expand – your knowledge about energy use and thermostats. We’ll make it easy with a “true or false” quiz:
- The average household spends several thousand dollars per year on energy bills. True or false?
- The location of your thermostat makes no difference to its performance and efficiency. True or false?
- Setting the thermostat at a higher temperature will heat your house faster. True or false?
- For every degree you lower your heat in the 60-degree to 70-degree range, you’ll save up to five percent on heating costs. True or false?
- Many people do not know how to use their programmable thermometers and actually waste energy by using them improperly. True or false?
Ok, now it’s time to see how you did!
- True. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the “average household spends more than $2,200 per year on energy bills, with nearly half of this going to heating and cooling costs.” (1)
- False. Improper thermostat locations can result in “ghost readings” or unnecessary furnace or air conditioning cycling. (2) When Standard Heating and Air Conditioning installs your new programmable thermostat, you can be assured that the thermostat will be installed properly (on an interior wall away from direct sunlight, drafts, skylights and windows) and located for convenient programming.
- False. This statement is false, although many people believe it to be true. Reports the Washington Post, “A common misconception associated with thermostats is that a furnace works harder then normal to warm the space back to a comfortable temperature after the thermostat has been set back, resulting in little or no savings. In fact, as soon as your house drops below its normal temperature, it will lose energy to the surrounding environment more slowly. The lower the interior temperature, the slower the heat loss.” (3)
- True. Setting your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower during the day and evening can, indeed, help you save up to five percent on heating costs. Even better, setting the thermostat to 55 degrees or off at night (health and weather conditions permitting), can result in heating cost savings of up to 20 percent! (4)
- True. In a study conducted by the journal Energy Research and Social Science about “40 percent of programmable thermostat owners did not use programming features and 33 percent had programming features overridden. Respondents demonstrated numerous misconceptions about how thermostats control home energy use. . . Programmable thermostats are generally sold as energy-saving devices controlling heating and cooling systems, but can lead to energy waste when not operated as designed by the manufacturers.” (5)
Take time to learn more about these important topics. You may not have a teacher to impress, but your housemates, spouse or partner will appreciate the lower energy bills that may result!
Want to lower your energy bills?
Consider our sources
(1-2) A Guide to Energy Efficient Heating and Cooling. (2009, September 4). Retrieved August 28, 2015.
(5) Pritoni, M. (2015). Energy efficiency and the misuse of programmable thermostats: The effectiveness of crowdsourcing for understanding household behavior. Energy Research & Social Science, Vol. 8, Pages 190–197-Pages 190–197. Retrieved August 28, 2015, from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214629615000730