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Trying to Heat Your Home “Faster” With the Thermostat? That Won’t Work

Cold Couple

We’ve all been there on a winter night: The house feels awfully cold, and you want to get the rooms warmed up as fast as you can. You look at the thermostat on the wall and see that it can go as high a 90°F. That’s far too hot, of course, but if you crank the thermostat up that high, it will at least mean the house will warm up faster. The heat will come roaring out of the vents!

Except … that’s not how home heating works. And trying to get “faster” heating by pushing the thermostat up so high can be bad news for an HVAC system in Knoxville, TN

Let me give you the lowdown on the thermostat

Sometimes I think I’m fortunate that I have paws rather than hands, because I don’t feel as tempted to fiddle around with dials and knobs and buttons the way people often do. I know plenty of homeowners who want to adjust their thermostats constantly and try to get the most out of all the “features” on these fancy super thermostats with all the bells and whistles. But this often leads to people making bad decisions about setting the thermostat or believing the thermostat can do things it can’t. Such as, for example, making the heating system provide heat faster by pushing up the thermostat’s temperature setting.

Here’s what you need to know: the thermostat is a switch. It controls when your home’s heater turns on and off, as well as when the blower fan comes on and off. It isn’t like a throttle where the more you press it to the floor, the more power it puts out. Instead, the thermostat determines how long the heating system runs. If you set the thermostat for 90°F, the heater won’t produce more heat—it will only stay on longer until it registers that it’s reached the thermostat setting. You won’t get faster heat. You’ll instead get a house that’s too hot from a heater that’s being forced to do more work than it should. 

“But my house won’t warm up fast enough! What can I do?”

If you’re asking this question, it probably means that your house used to warm up faster than it does now. If that’s the case, then you may have a faulty heating system or blower fan, or the heater is too old. The problem could even be with a faulty thermostat. What’s important is that you don’t attempt to overcome this heating deficiency with higher and higher thermostat settings; that wastes energy and may cause the heater to fail. 

The solution is to call our experts to take a look at your heating system and see if it needs repair work or a replacement. If the heating system was properly sized when installed, it should deliver the comfort you need in a timely fashion. If it isn’t, we can see what needs to be done so you enjoy the winter comfort your family deserves.

Stay warm,