Tag Archive for: thermostat

When You Should Be Adjusting Your Thermostat

Are you the type of person who sets the thermostat to 71° and “Auto” then never touches it again? Or are you the kind of person who is constantly adjusting the thermostat throughout the day?

Well, we’re here to tell you that neither of these thermostat personality types are doing a good job of keeping their energy bills low. If you want to start seeing lower energy bills, then here are a couple of often-overlooked occasions when you should be adjusting your thermostat:

When You’re in the Kitchen All Day

“Cooking up a storm” can really increase the temperature in your house, starting with the kitchen. And, since we’ve found that many of you keep your thermostats in or near the kitchen, a raised temperature in the kitchen tends to affect the whole house.

The solution?

Go ahead and lower the temperature on your thermostat when you know you’ll be cooking a lot—especially with the oven—so that when things heat up, you’re more likely to reach a normal temperature. Doing this will not only benefit your energy consumption on a regular basis, but it will likely help you prepare your home for whoever it is you’re cooking for. You’d hate to invite them into a sweaty house party!

When You’re Not Home

Energy.gov said in a recent report that turning your thermostat down for 8 hours per day will help you see a reduction in energy consumption from 5-15% per year. That means that if you were to start lowering your temperature when you leave for work every morning (in the winter—and raising it a bit in the summer), you could save 10-15% on your energy bills every year!

We always recommend setting it back 5-10 degrees, so that your system can easily adjust back and forth.

To make it even better—you can adjust the temperature when you go on trips away from the house for extended periods of time.

Consider a Smart Thermostat

Many smart thermostats adjust not only according to when you’re home or not, but also according to your daily in-house routine. Do you regularly make it cooler before bedtime?

Cool!

Your thermostat will take note of that and start doing it on its own. Sounds fancy, huh? The good news is that, while the price of making your house a smart home may seem high up front, the products are made to save you money in the long run!

We’re proud to offer these and other new thermostats to our customers! Call us at BNG Heating & Cooling to talk to one of our associates about installing one in your home, so that you can start saving TODAY!

How Energy-Efficient Units Save Big Money

We know what you’re thinking—this is just a sales pitch for an HVAC company to sell you a new thermostat.

The truth is that we’re always reminding our customers to update their thermostats because we see, time after time, how the upgrade significantly impacts our customers’ monthly energy bills.

Here’s how:

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

With energy-efficient HVAC systems, you will find that cooling load capacities vary with the size of the house the unit is cooling.

It seems like this would be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised to know just how many homes are fitted with HVAC units that have to work extra hard to cool a home too large or that work too hard for the smaller-sized home it serves.

Simply put, energy-efficient systems don’t waste any energy by working to cool or heat a home that doesn’t fit its capacity.

Newer, Smarter Technology

It goes without saying that these new units have been made with the most innovative materials and technology yet, but you may not know that they’ve also been made to work even more successfully with programmable and smart thermostats.

You’ve heard of programmable thermostats and smart thermostats by now, right?

If not, you should check out this blog and this blog to learn of the many ways that these tools work to ensure that your unit is as intuitive and efficient as possible.

If you currently have an old-school system, consider using this web tool to calculate the potential energy AND utility bill savings you could achieve by switching to an energy-efficient system.

Even better, you can get us to calculate your potential energy savings by conducting a home assessment.

Call us to schedule your consultation today!

The Price You Pay for an Old Thermostat

We know what you’re thinking—this is just a sales pitch for an HVAC company to sell you a new thermostat. The truth is that we’re always reminding our customers to update their thermostats because we see, time after time, how the upgrade significantly impacts our customers’ monthly energy bills. Here’s how:

Automatic Setting Adjustments

While some of our customers with analog thermostats are diligent about adjusting the temperature according to time of day, temperature outside, and based on observations on how their HVAC system is performing month after month, most are—understandably—not so diligent.

It’s a hassle!

Most customers leave their thermostats on one or two settings, all year round.

This chore becomes easier with programmable thermostats, which can usually be controlled remotely and set up to shift schedules without physically approaching the thermostat.

The smart thermostat takes this feature one step further—giving you remote control of your unit AND calibrating the settings and temperatures more intuitively than even you can.

Smart thermostats actually pay attention to what times of day you frequently adjust your home’s temperature. If it notices that you always set it to a lower temperature before bed, it will do that on its own.

With smartphone integration, your smart thermostat can even tell when you’re en route home from work and adjust the temperature accordingly.

Why all this adjusting?

It keeps you from making your AC or heat run all day, every day, when you really only need it working hard when you’re home.

Price of New Thermostat vs. Price of Energy Bills  

Over time, the regular calibration of your smart thermostat works to save you money. For example, users of a popular smart thermostat brand called Nest (offered in addition to Honeywell products by BNG Heating & Cooling) reported an average yearly savings of $131-$145.

Most smart thermostats cost about $200. That means a smart thermostat pays for itself in under two years, then goes on to save you around 10%-15% in energy bills every year.

Ready to make your smartest move yet? Call us! We can install your new thermostat during your next HVAC maintenance checkup.

The Homeowner Vacation Checklist

During the summer, our customers often ask us for our professional tips on how to leave their HVAC units when they leave home for vacation. We thought we’d share those tips and give you an easy checklist, so that you never have to come home to anything less than a comfortable, welcoming house!

Check the Unit Before Leaving

If your HVAC unit hasn’t been regularly maintenanced, you need to be sure to have an expert take a look at it before you leave for vacation. Of course you don’t expect your unit to break down while you’re away, but HVAC breakdowns are always, always unexpected. Trust us, you don’t want to come home from a vacation just to discover that your home has become an oven.

Looking like a lot of things are wrong with your unit? Here are some frequently asked questions about HVAC system replacement that you should consider before buying a whole new system.

Check Other Home Maintenance Priorities

While turning completely turning the water off is not entirely necessary, it does no harm and may offer you peace of mind while away for an extended period. Be sure to be careful when turning the water supply both off and back on, as to avoid the water hammer effect.

Yes, this includes cleaning in some unexpected places before you leave. We promise, you’ll be thankful that you did a little deep cleaning before your trip! You’d hate for something to happen and for someone else to discover that you’ve never cleaned behind the fridge. And, if nothing happens, you’ll get to come home to a spick-and-span house!

Set Your Thermostat Back—But Not Too Much

With nobody in the house to keep cool, you’d be wise to increase the temperature on your thermostat and save a few dollars on the next energy bill. However, people often turn their thermostats too high. When they do this, they come home to an uncomfortable house, and their AC has to work even harder to regain a comfortable temperature. We recommend only changing the temperature 5° above your normal temperature.

Put a Friend in Charge

You need to leave a friend in charge of your house, in charge of your delivery packages, and in charge of your pets. That way, you can trust that someone is within reach if anything bad happens. Be sure to leave them with a key to your house, as well as with a list of all important emergency contacts.

Need to have your system looked at before your big trip? Give us a call so that we can help you check that off your list!   

CHECKLIST:

☐  HVAC working properly

☐  Water turned off

☐  Thermostat set back only slightly

☐  Give a close friend your key

☐  Give a close friend important contact info

☐ HVAC Service Provider: BNG Heating & Cooling (812) 858-4000

☐ Security Provider:

☐ Plumber:

Is it time to change your thermostat?

You may be thinking, “I haven’t had to worry about my thermostat in 20 years! It’s working just fine!”

While we’re proud that your current system has never given you trouble, we must warn you that thermostat function does deteriorate over time. Even if you’ve never noticed a glitch, older thermostats usually read and display your home temperature inaccurately.

And you’ve probably become accustomed to it!

Accuracy is Important!

If your family knows to translate 78° on your thermostat to really mean 70°, your system is probably not achieving optimal energy efficiency. Since, according to the Energy Information Administration, heating and cooling accounts for 42% of home energy costs, every degree of accuracy could save you money!

Even if you upgrade to a thermostat that has no extra features – without WiFi capabilities or a display screen or even programming options, you’ll still be saving money on your energy because you’ll have a more accurate understanding of the temperature and temperature changes in your home.

Take the Guesswork Out of the Equation

When you switch to a programmable thermostat, you no longer have to remember to set the temperature back when you leave for work or when you go to bed at night. You can program it to change the temperature, gradually, at the times of your day that don’t need extra warmth or cooling.

This is where properly installed insulation comes into play. When your home’s energy-saving infrastructure has been well-maintained, it will be able to keep a comfortable temperature without you constantly switching your heating or cooling on and off.

Improve Your System’s Efficiency Today

Have we inspired you? That’s great news!

Upgrading your thermostat is one of the least expensive ways to keep your energy bills in check, and – even better – BNG HVAC installs your new thermostat for free when you upgrade during your spring maintenance check!

Check out the many thermostat options we provide our customers, then give us a call to schedule your maintenance checkup and thermostat installation!

Should You Turn Off Your AC While On Vacation?

If you’re anything like us, you can’t leave the house for vacation without going through an exhaustive mental checklist. Did I turn the stove off? Is the curling iron unplugged? Do I have all my kids with me? And as the temperature continues to rise, you may be faced with another, equally important question: do I leave the A/C on?

Unlike most questions in life, a quick Google search won’t give you a definitive answer. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there, so we’ve decided to set the record straight, once and for all: LEAVE YOUR A/C ON.

Why? It’s important to understand that air conditioners not only cool your home, but also remove humidity from your home. In a climate like Southern Indiana, especially, once you leave your A/C off for an extended period of time, bad things begin to happen. Mold, must, spores — all the usual suspects — will descend on your home like a plague.

We recommend that you actually turn your A/C up before you leave — anywhere from 83-85 degrees will get the job done. That’s enough to keep your humidity levels under control while you’re gone. If your house is equipped with programmable thermostats, poke around for a “hold” or “vacation” function.

Additionally, if your family travels often we would recommend installing a WiFi thermostat with a mobile app. You can check your home’s temperature while you’re gone, ensuring that all is well, and change the temperature while you are traveling back to give your home time to cool back down before your return. At BNG, we have WiFi thermostats starting for as little as $349 installed.

Still have questions? Comb through our website a little more, or just give us a call at 812.858.400 to speak with an HVAC professional. Have a great vacation!

Programming your thermostat to save money

Ever forget to turn off your heating or AC when leaving the house? How about having to get up in the middle of the night to turn the heat off because it’s too hot? Or what about waking up to a chilly 55 degree morning, only to be overheated in a sweater at 70 degrees by lunchtime? Wild temperature fluctuations are par for the course in the fall months, but trying to match that temperature can leave your home’s temperature always in flux, and your energy bill climbing steadily. Most people know that turning your thermostat off when you leave the house or spending less time adjusting your thermostat can save you money, as much as 10-15% on your electric bill, but forgetting to adjust your thermostat can keep you paying more without ever finding the perfect temperature for your home.

The solution to this is simple. Programmable thermostats do the work for you, automatically adjusting. Kind of like a crockpot, you can just set it and forget it! According to Energy Star, capitalizing on the best uses of a programmable thermostat, you could save up to $180 a year! Want to save even more money? Many utility companies offer rebates for switching to programmable thermostats; ask the professionals at BNG about rebates in your area.

How to use an energy-saving programmable thermostat.

  1. Program the thermostat to either adjust the temperature or turn off when everyone leaves for work, and to turn back on 20 to 30 minutes before everyone arrives home.
  2. Program the thermostat to adjust the temperature (down if you’re heating the house, and up if you’re cooling it) 20 to 30 minutes after you fall asleep. You should also set it to adjust back within 30 minutes of waking up. Although this may sound a little odd, you won’t notice slight temperature changes like this while you’re sleeping.
  3. Program different settings on the weekends than you would on the weekdays. Having your home warmer than usual in the summer is fine while you’re at work, but you shouldn’t be uncomfortable while you’re home all day!
  4. All thermostats come with an “override” setting, so you can manually adjust the thermostat, no matter your program settings.
  5. If you’re planning on going out of town, most thermostats come with a “vacation/hold” setting that you can use to adjust the temperature for longer periods of time. Be careful about winter vacations, though, and make sure you don’t allow your home’s temperature to fall too low. If your home goes below 55 degrees, your pipes could freeze.
  6. If your thermostat is battery operated, don’t forget to change them at least once a year!

Along with regular HVAC maintenance, we can help you install and program your new smart thermostat! If you’d like more information on what you can do to save money and energy in your home, contact us today.