Austin homeowners should know your heating and air conditioning system is responsible for about 50% of how much you spend on energy costs over a year’s time. That’s significant, but you wouldn’t want to do without it! What you may not know is that using your thermostat properly is the easiest way to reduce energy costs. Here’s what you need to know.

Your home won’t cool down in summer or heat up in winter any faster by switching the thermostat to extreme temperatures. When it’s scorching outside and you come in from work to find it’s 79 degrees inside and stuffy, you may be tempted to switch the thermostat down to 70 degrees rather than 74 or 75 where you usually keep it. Sound familiar? Your home won’t cool off any quicker by setting the temperature lower than the temperature you normally keep it at. In fact, considering your system will run until it reaches that 70 degree mark you switched it to, you’ll use more energy as well. The same principle applies in winter months when you’re using heating mode.

So, does this mean you should leave your thermostat set at 75 degrees (or whatever temperature you prefer) all summer long? No. If your family is away all day at work or school, it’s more energy efficient to switch the temperature on the thermostat up three or four degrees so it doesn’t cycle on and off so often during the day while no one is there to enjoy the cool air. If you have a programmable thermostat, all you need to do is lower the it to your desired temperature about 20 minutes before you expect to get home. Turning it completely off while you’re away will only make your system work harder.

Ultimately, what you don’t want to do is constantly adjust the setting on the thermostat when you’re at home. If you’re comfortable when it’s 76 degrees indoors during summer months or 70 degrees in winter, set it and forget it other than when you’re away at work or on vacation. The less you mess with the thermostat, the better off you will be in terms of energy consumption and utility costs.

Have questions about energy efficiency and your HVAC system? At Schneider Mechanical our Austin heating and cooling professionals are ready to answer your questions and help you achieve a comfortable home that’s also energy efficient. Give us a call today!