I'm in Texas, so I definitely notice AC bills more than heating. One
very nice feature of the t'stat I have (a Honeywell) is it's apparently
intelligent about short-cycling, which can damage a compressor. I don't
know to what extent it optimizes compressor use, but my bills have
definitely come down, and I attribute at least part of that to the
t'stat (although I've also patched some leaky ductwork and made other
changes that probably helped even more).
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It takes a whole lot less energy to *maintain* a constant, even temperature
than it does to keep jacking around with the temperature. In my neck of the
woods, if you leave the a/c off for an 8 our work day, it takes a full 24
hours to bring the temperature and humidity levels back into your comfort
range. Remember, you not just cooling the air, but everything in the
house...walls, floors, ceilings, furniture, peoples, puppies, kitties, etc.
Increasing the temp differential of the room TH could make a difference
in the operating SEER because starting and stopping, or short cycling,
wastes energy to get the evaporator cold, and/or, the heat exchanger in
a gas or oil furnace hot enough to deliver warm air to the conditioned
This is a major reason why the proper BTUH sizing of equipment is so
important to efficient operation. It extends the run-time & reduces the
number of start-up cycles.
My old oil furnace runs a long time using fuel, too much of which goes
up the chimney before it the blower kicks in. - udarrell
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