One of the questions I hear most is “What temperature should i keep my thermostat on?” I’m going to give you some different rationale as to the what, and the why. First, let’s say 72 degrees is the most beneficial temperature. That temperature setting for a home with a natural gas, oil, or standard heat pump will actually feel different, even though 72 is the setting.
Units explained and how they differ in temperature settings
Natural gas furnaces with 90% or better efficiency are most effective for whole house heating. That’s because this unit has two types of heat exchangers and can blend both. One’s initial source is from burners. The second draws from the balance of heat normally flowing out the exhaust or chimney. If sized correctly, it delivers the smoothest, most even heat of all. With modern ECM motors, you can set just the right airflow for correct temperature difference from supply air leaving furnace to return air being filtered before entering it. Our units have this technology built in. Not all manufacturers feature this.
Oil furnaces are a different breed altogether. Sadly, due to their fuel cost and the amount of pollutants they emit, their popularity has waned. Sizing them for a home is very difficult, since their fuel metering is based on the installer’s knowledge. This unit by far puts out the most heat per register. It also has the most flue loss of fuel used. Therefore, you will feel toastier upon run time, but as soon as unit stops, that fuel guzzler will have just heated the air, not the walls or windows. Your home will feel uneven and drafty until the next startup.
Last is the standard heat pump. It relies on outdoor ambient air, delivering heat throughout the home. When temperatures drop, its run time is much longer. Temperature delivery is lower from registers. Users complain that it “feels like” cool air, while the air actually heats to approximately 98 to 105 degrees. It seems much lower than oil or natural gas. This gives these units the bad rap of comfort. Even though you set thermostat to 72, it still feels drafty or uneven. Again, the inability to heat walls, doors, and windows plays a part.
Your home comfort solution
So then, what is the best temperature to set your thermostat on? It is actually what you are willing to endure in comfort. I suggest you set your heat pump no lower than 72. Set gas or oil to 70. The reason why is that at these settings you don’t lose the savings that one would think, and maintain proper humidification. As usual please contact Sam the Furnace Man for all your comfort needs!