It is incomprehensible to me the number of people who do not understand the concept of a thermostat. Even people who should know what it is and how it works don’t understand it. I’ve witnessed first hand, architects, engineers, and scientists ride room thermostats like a volume knob.
Do you understand the concept of a thermostat? Take this simple test in the privacy of your own home to discern if you grasp the concept:
Answer the following true or false.
- My car heats up faster in the morning if I turn the thermostat to the highest setting.
- My house heats up faster if I turn my home thermostat to the highest setting.
- My refrigerator will get colder faster if I turn my thermostat to the lowest possible setting.
- My home air conditioning system will cool my home faster if I set my thermostat to the lowest setting.
If you answered true to any of the above questions, consider yourself a thermostat moron.
The irony is that a thermostat is the simplest of devices. You set it to the temperature you want your heating or air conditioning system to “maintain”, and then forget it. That’s it; that’s all there is. There is nothing else to think about.
Yet the world is full of thermostat jockeys, constantly riding the setting in the hope of immediate gratification. They want what they want, and they want it now. If they’re cold, they turn it up, if they’re warm, they turn it down. They are constantly checking it to see if somehow it changed by magical powers.
Let me explain the concept home thermodynamics. Your furnace (or air conditioner) has only one speed – full blast, pedal to the metal, as fast as it can go. It’s a binary system; it’s on, all the way, or it’s off all the way. There is no question of degree. Your thermostat is not a gas pedal. It doesn’t increase the “speed” at which your heater or air conditioner works.
What your thermostat does is set a threshold point. That is to say,
A three-degree room variance is normal. If there was no variance, the heater or air conditioner would be “kicking on and off” constantly trying to maintain the threshold to within a fraction of a degree. Since the unit must run for a few seconds to achieve maximum efficiency, this would result in much higher gas and electricity bills. So to achieve the best efficiency, we must tolerate a small variance in room temperature.
Unfortunately, the world is filled with those who believe that
Worse, are those who don’t understand that a given temperature may feel different to some individuals from day to day. Many factors influence how a temperature “feels” to an individual. The ambient temperature outside, moisture in the air, an individuals health, the
Thermostats don’t lie. A temperature setting is an unbiased, empirical fact. Leave it alone! For the love of all thing good and decent, set it and forget it! Then go buy a sweater.