We Know the Secret to Maximum Furnace Energy Savings
It is no secret that winter is not just the longest, but is also the most expensive season here in Canada - at least when it comes to energy bills.
While we still have our fair share of residents who go without air conditioning during the brief summer season, the same is not true for heating.
Heating is simply not optional with the type of severe winter weather we get here in Ontario, Canada.
But budgeting for winter heating bills can be anxiety producing, especially as the cold temperatures linger on and on.
The good news is, our furnace experts at Bi-Temp know the secret to getting the most heat from your furnace for cheaper! Read on to learn the key to trimming your heating bills.
Thermostat Differential - What It Is & Why It Matters
If the term "thermostat differential" is not exactly ringing a bell, you are definitely not alone.
This is actually one of the least-known features of the modern furnace. It is also your first key to maximizing furnace efficiency and minimizing energy bills.
Thermostat differential is a term that refers to a built-in factory pre-set that triggers your furnace to cycle on or off.
Here, "thermostat" refers to the temperature you select on your furnace thermostat. And "differential" refers to how many degrees above or below that temperature your furnace needs to reach before cycling on or off.
How to Adjust the Furnace Thermostat Differential
Having a wider thermostat differential can be helpful in the summer to ensure maximum compressor lifespan (which is a complicated topic better suited to a different blog post).
But in the winter, when compressor run-time issues are less of a concern, a narrower thermostat differential is possible - and greatly beneficial to trim those exorbitant heating bills.
Most new HVAC units that feature an in-built programmable thermostat will also come with a pre-set thermostat differential that is adjustable.
But an older HVAC unit with a manual thermostat may not have this feature. For an older furnace that has a static thermostat differential pre-set, read on to learn about an easy, affordable solution.
(Our friendly, qualified Bi-Temp HVAC service technicians in Belleville can take a look at your furnace’s make and model to determine if adjusting the thermostat differential is possible.)
The Best Thermostat Differential for Reducing Heating Costs
For our customers who have the option to adjust thermostat differential, this is what we generally recommend:
Air conditioning: between 0.8 and 2 degrees.
Heating: between 0.5 and 1 degrees.
This differential strikes an optimal balance between too-frequent cycling, which can prematurely age your compressor, and excessive energy draw between cycles.
Programming Your HVAC Thermostat = Instant Savings
There are two ways to program your furnace thermostat.
The first and easiest way is to use a programmable thermostat. The second way is to manually adjust your thermostat.
Many of our customers who have older model furnace units do not realize it is often still possible to use a third-party (after market) programmable thermostat with these systems.
And for our customers who have newer model furnaces, using a programmable thermostat is typically as simple as programming the one that came with your unit.
Yet, it can feel oddly daunting to decide how to program your thermostat!
In order to start trimming your heating bills, you first have to spend some time getting to know your own daily schedule and heating patterns.
Once you have done this research, it is much easier to program your thermostat in a way that will start showing an immediate energy savings payoff.
Just like with setting your furnace thermostat differential, the goal when programming your furnace thermostat is to strike just the right balance between too-frequent cycling and excessive energy draw between cycles.
The Department of Energy states that you can trim up to 10 percent off your heating bills for every one degree you lower your thermostat setting. The easiest way to start realizing these savings is to think in terms of zones.
For example, when everyone is gone during the day on weekdays, you can lower the setting on your programmable thermostat by 10 degrees. And in the evenings when everyone is bundled up in bed, you can lower the setting by five degrees.
If you don't have a programmable thermostat (or the option to retrofit your furnace with a third-party unit), you can manually adjust these settings before leaving each morning or retiring each night.
How Much Can You Save By Understanding Thermostat Differential?
The average Ontario, Canada homeowner spends about $2,358 per year on energy. 62 percent of that goes to heating the home, which is about $1,462.
If you made just one adjustment to your furnace thermostat to save 10 percent, you have already put $142 back in your pocket!
Contact Bi-Temp LTD. In Belleville for All Your Furnace Needs
Click here to schedule your preventative annual furnace maintenance and tune-up with Bi-Temp. Our friendly technicians are happy to evaluate your thermostat differential during your tune-up!