Thermostat Etiquette

Posted on November 14, 2016

A properly functioning thermostat is a crucial component of your home’s heating and cooling system. It acts as your system’s trigger, regulating and monitoring the climate control settings in your home during the heat of summer and now, during the colder winter months.

At General Air Conditioning & Plumbing, our customers ask us about thermostats all the time, looking for advice on how to operate them in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. Here are our five most-frequently asked questions and our answers. Here we go – and keep in mind that we decided to have a little fun with this blog!

  1. How do I get my grandma (and spouse, kids, mother-in-law) to leave the thermostat alone?
    Well, the best way is to seal your thermostat in a locked compartment, with the key locked in your safe. Or, a closed-circuit surveillance system can reveal the culprit. If those options seem a bit extreme to you, a more practical way is to install a WiFi-controlled thermostat that you can monitor remotely. If you want a chuckle, read about this humorous WiFi thermostat review.
  2. My husband is a cheapskate and turns our thermostat WAY down at night and off when we are gone. Is it really cheaper to do that?
    Myth. Turning your system way down or completely off makes it hard to maintain an efficient, constant temperature. It also makes your home susceptible to outside factors. You do not want an unexpected cold spell to freeze the water in your fish tank (not to mention your indoor plumbing) do you? A better option is to invest in a programmable thermostat; this will allow you to bring the temperature back up to a comfortable level prior to you arriving back home. Or simply turn your thermostat down marginally, say 7-10 degrees.
  3. My dog will be at home all day while I’m at work this winter, what should I set the thermostat to?
    If you must leave Lady behind, make sure she has a sweater and then turn the thermostat down like you normally would 7-10 degrees. Most pets’ body temperatures are a bit higher than humans, so they can handle your energy-efficiency —unless, of course, they’re hairless! For more information about handling different times of the year in regards to climate control for your pets, visit
  4. Is it more efficient for me to use the programmed features or to set the thermostat at a constant, specific temperature?
    Ummm… listen carefully. IF YOU HAVE A PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT, USE IT! Let us count the reasons why: a programmable system allows for efficiency in climate control, can save you money on your utility bills, and also save you precious time by eliminating manual thermostat adjustments.
  5. How often should I change thermostat batteries?
    Depends… some HVAC experts say every six months, others say once per year. Both are good answers, though we suggest you follow the recommendation in your thermostat owner’s manual. And don’t wait until the batteries go dead and you come home to a freezing house… your teeth will be chattering while you frantically search your cabinets for new ones.

For more thermostat information on products and all your heating and cooling needs, call The General today.

Privacy and Cookie Policy