Three Thermostat Myths That Cost You Money Each Month

Did you know that you spend around $2,200 heating and cooling your home each year?

That means your thermostat is in charge of spending a large amount of your money since it’s in control of how long your furnace and air conditioner run.

And that $2,200 a year cost can be even higher for your family if you’re falling for these thermostat myths.

Myth #1: “Turning up the thermostat on a high setting will make my furnace heat faster”

On an especially cold day, you may think, “I need to get this place warm—fast” so you turn up the thermostat super high in order to make your home warmer, faster. But that’s not how a thermostat works with a furnace.

Your thermostat can’t tell your furnace to heat faster. Imagine your thermostat being more like an on/off switch than volume setting device.

Falling for this myth costs you money because you could accidentally overheat your home, causing you to spend more on heating your home than necessary.

Myth #2: “Changing the thermostat setting when I leave home won’t save me that much money”

People believe this myth because they think that their furnace or air conditioner will have to work harder to heat or cool the home when they get back, negating whatever savings were made when the system was inactive.

This isn’t true.

According to, you can get “a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is [at least] eight hours long. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in milder climates than for those in more severe climates.”

Here are’s temperature setting suggestions for winter and summer:

Winter: 68°F when you’re awake at home. When you’re away from home for 8 hours or longer, lower your thermostat setting 10° to 15°.

Savings: 5% to 15% off your annual heating costs.

Summer: 78°F when you’re awake at home. When you’re away, turn your thermostat up 10° to 15° for 8 hours.

Savings: 10% to 15% off your annual cooling costs.

Myth #3: “A programmable thermostat saves me money”

This is and isn't true.

A programmable thermostat isn’t magic. It does not automatically make your heating and cooling system run more efficiently. You get what you put into the programmable thermostat.

So if you’re using horribly inefficient settings with the programmable thermostat, guess what happens? Your bills will stay just as they are—or possibly get even worse.

But if you follow the temperature setting advice we listed in the previous section, you can save about $180 a year, according to ENERGY STAR.

Thermostat Myths: Busted

From this article, you’ve learned that:

  • Your thermostat can’t control the intensity of your furnace
  • Setbacks and setups do save you money
  • Programmable thermostats can save you $180 annually if you set them right

Want more money-saving tips and articles? Check out our blog.

Coolray is your Atlanta-area home comfort expert with specialists in heating, air conditioning, air quality and plumbing. Have more questions? We’d be happy to help – just contact us online.

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