Set Your Thermostat Wisely

When the outdoor temperature drops below 32 degrees F, your heat pump may need assistance in heating your home. Electric heating elements will come on automatically to help heat your home during severe weather.

Many thermostats have an indicator light that tells you when the electric back-up heat is on. It may be labelled emergency or auxiliary. Generally, you should see this light on only during very cold days. The light may also indicate a problem with your heat pump, such as a clogged air filter.

Setting your thermostat to the lowest comfortable temperature is the best approach to conserving energy and saving money. SMECO recommends a temperature of 68 degrees during the winter. Frequent to drastic changes to your thermostat setting may cause you to use more energy. Avoid increasing your thermostat setting by more than two degree at a time. A change in setting greater than two degrees at one time may cause your electric back-up heat to come on. Whenever your electric back-up heat comes on unnecessarily, you will be wasting energy.

When your heat pump is operating in the cooling mode, there is no back-up system. You can adjust your thermostat setting up or down without worrying about additional systems coming on. For economical operation, however, you should aim for the highest comfortable temperature when selecting your thermostat setting. For the summer, SMECO recommends a temperature of 78 degrees.

There are many types of thermostats. Please feel free to contact SMECO or a heating contractor to discuss the proper operation of your existing thermostat or the selection of a new, energy-saving thermostat.


With SMECO's CoolSentry program, you may be eligible for a programmable thermostat and up to $75 a year in bill credits.


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