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Is my furnace playing catch-up?

20 September 2010

If I set the temperature down, won’t my furnace have to work harder to warm up my house?

If you’re wondering how setting back your thermostat during the day or at night saves energy, you’re not the only one.  This is one of the most common questions I get at workshops – isn’t is using more energy for my furnace to get my house back up to a comfortable temperature, and does that cancel out the energy savings from turning it down?

The short answer: No.

The long answer: Unless you have a dual-stage furnace, your heating system has two settings: on and off.  Your furnace is always consuming energy at the same constant level when it is on.  For example, let’s say that Dean comes home during the winter after a long cold day, and his home is 62 degrees, but he really wants it to be 70 degrees as fast as possible.  So Dean cranks his thermostat up to 95 degrees thinking that is will make the furnace work that much harder and heat his home faster.  Well, Dean, your furnace just doesn’t work like that – your home will get to 70 at the exact same pace than if you stuck with your regularly scheduled program.

So use the genius of your programmable thermostat to set back your temp 8 degrees for 8 hours while you’re away during the day or sleeping at night and collect the rewards!

:: Get With the Program – info on programmable thermostats

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