Programmable thermostats have become one of the more popular home HVAC upgrades in recent years. Everyone’s looking to save on their energy bills all year round and a programmable thermostat offers that possibility – but it does require a little knowledge on your part to avoid the potential for moisture build-up and mold.
Programmable – or Setback – Thermostats
A programmable thermostat is a so-called ‘setback’ thermostat. That means that you set an ideal temperature and the thermostat turns on the furnace when the actual temperature falls below it and then turns it off when the temperature rises above it.
Sounds easy, right?
But, in order to really maximize the savings potential, you want to think about your actual needs in terms of temperature. Do you need as much warmth overnight when you’re sleeping? How about during the day when everyone’s at work or at school?
The same principles can work for a cooling system in the summer, where you may want to program a higher temperature during the day when the house is empty.
Many people set their thermostats for around 20 C to 21 C, but the savings will increase the lower the temperature you set.
It’s a matter of physics: Cold air can hold much less moisture than warm air. That means that the lower the temperature you set, the greater potential for moisture condensation to occur on your walls and windows as the building cools down.
Know the signs:
- Windows that are perpetually fogged
- Damp walls
Where there is frequent moisture, there is the potential for water damage and mold infestation.
- To prevent mold, begin with a drop of 2 C at first and keep an eye out for moisture issues. Then you can see if it’s possible to drop it farther – up to 3 to 6 C.
- A household with fewer people (people = moisture source) will be able to get away with a larger setback as a rule.
- Air will warm up and cool down more quickly than the walls of your home and it’s that difference in temperature that causes condensation. If you shower in the morning and then leave directly for work, setting the thermostat to shift back right away, that moisture in the air will condense on the walls. If you shower right after coming home, just as the air is warming up, you will likewise get condensation on the still cool walls.
- Remember that when the thermostat shuts down your forced air furnace, it also shuts down the furnace fan, which may leave you with inadequate air circulation – crucial for dealing with moisture issues. You can find models that will allow you to run the furnace fan continuously.
- A programmable system works best when your schedule is predictable.
Vigilance is the Key
Keeping an eye out for any moisture-related issues is the key to preventing mold infestation. If you’ve noticed a persistent, musty odour in your home or other signs of mold, we can help. For mold testing, inspection and removal Services in Toronto, Contact Moldinspections.ca for a hassle-free quote today.
MoldInspections.ca is the trusted leader for mold-free homes and breathable indoor air spaces in Toronto, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and beyond. Providing certified mold inspection, detection and testing since 2005, we service home owners, real-estate agents, landlords, property managers, insurance companies and businesses. Featured on CTV and Global news, official supplier to HGTV’s Income Properties with Scott McGillivray and Leave It To Bryan and recommended by local contractors, we regularly serve as expert witnesses in court proceeding relating to Mold and Indoor Air Quality issues. Do you have mold? Call us today for a free quote at (416) 575-6111.