Finding the right temperature balance means keeping the interior of your home comfortable and energy-efficient while minimizing heat loss or heat gain. It’s an inconvenient fact of physics, but the higher you set the thermostat in cold winter weather, the more indoor heat is lost to the outdoors. Conversely, the cooler you keep the home in summer, the more heat gain occurs inside the house. This conundrum can make maintaining both indoor comfort and energy efficiency problematic. The answer lies in maintaining a careful temperature balance between indoors and outdoors year-round.
Getting In Balance
Temperature balance is influenced by factors that include:
- The amount and type of attic insulation. Is your insulation up to current standards? Have it checked by a qualified HVAC contractor to make sure it’s doing the job of inhibiting winter heat loss and summer heat gain.
- Air leakage into and out of the house due to cracks and gaps. Locate and seal openings in the structure that allow air exchange between indoors and outdoors. Renew worn weatherstripping around doors and windows.
- Furnace and air-conditioner function. Schedule annual professional preventative maintenance for both the heating and cooling season. This ensures that HVAC components are operating up to manufacturer’s standards for performance and efficiency.
Staying in Balance
Thermostat settings directly impact temperature balance between indoors and outdoors. In winter, the higher you set the indoor temperature in relation to the outdoor temperature, the more heat loss occurs from the house, causing heating bills to climb. The Department of Energy recommends setting the thermostat at between 68 and 72 degrees during waking hours in winter to maintain temperature balance and curtail heat loss. While residents are sleeping or not at home, program thermostat settings lower, to 58 degrees.
In summer, cut heat gain and support indoor/outdoor temperature balance by keeping the house at 78 degrees while people are home. While you’re away, set the thermostat higher or even turn the AC off completely (though not if you have pets).
For more about maintaining efficient temperature balance and lower heating costs this winter. contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.