Homeowners save about two percent on their energy bill for each degree lowered on their home heating thermostats. Over time, it is plain to see that this can add up. Convincing family members, and maybe even yourself, of this fact, however, can truly turn into a battle at times, especially when the thermometer is registering that it is really, really cold outside!
Better Thermostats, Better Ecology
Nowadays, home heating thermostats no longer come manufactured using mercury. Because of the toxicity associated with mercury, especially during its disposal, many areas concerned with its ecological impact have outlawed the use of it for thermostats. Today’s thermostats are made with thermistors, a word that is really made up of a combination of two words: thermal and resistor.
Home heating thermostats made with thermistors specify temperature by changing its electrical resistance. Manufactured with semiconductors, thermistors utilize these and, with proper electronics, semiconductors measure temperature quite accurately.
Breaking it Down in Dollar Signs
Of course, this lesson on home heating thermostats helps us keep from poisoning our environment further, but it doesn’t help with the heating bills. For this, you may need to resort to a lockbox attached to the wall covering your thermostat!
Let us say you lower, and are able to keep, home heating thermostats down by only four degrees, from 72 to 68 degrees. Those four degrees equal eight percent in cold, hard cash off your monthly utility bill. If yours typically runs $250 per month when your thermostat is set at 72 degrees, this means that lowering it to 68 degrees will save you $20 per month. Over the course of a winter season, say four months, that adds up to $80. This is not a huge saving, but if you save the same amount by raising the thermostat during the summer months, you’ve pocketed $160 that would have otherwise been spent on your energy bill.
Even More Benefits to Conservation
By explaining this breakdown on home heating thermostats, you not only conserve energy and save money, you do more. Whether realizing it or not, you’re doing your part toward giving the utility companies a break in usage during sometimes-critical months. This can prevent brown-outs and black-outs in some heavily populated areas if everyone did it.
When All Else Fails
If this doesn’t work, you very well (all kidding aside!) might consider attaching a lockbox to your home heating thermostat. You’ve seen them in public areas where building maintenance personnel cannot allow just anyone to adjust the thermostat. Some of us have eyed these boxes enviously as we sat sweating or shivering sometimes, but they do work. And if your family refuses to get the message, this may be your last resort to gaining control over your thermostat.
It would be a shame to have to go to these measures over a home heating thermostat. But you can always offer the alternative: Divide the heating and cooling bills by the number of people in the house. Each person pays his or her share, whether it’s from an after-school part-time job or an allotted weekly allowance. You may be surprised at the success you will find in keeping that thermostat under control when family members get penalized monetarily.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
With that in mind, don’t forget that the future will happen, regardless. And if worst comes to worst, you can always dream of the day when it will just be you and your spouse again, alone with home heating thermostats to deal with all by yourselves!