Temperature Differential Causing Discomfort

The thermostat is in control of one of the most important systems within the home: the HVAC system. This system dictates your comfort level and allows you to choose the temperature that you find most comfortable. However, there is a setting on the thermostat that can disrupt this comfort if it is not set appropriately. The temperature differential can give the thermostat a few degrees leeway before turning your HVAC system on or off. This could allow your homes temperature to fluctuate drastically all while the thermostat continues to read the original set temperature.

Resetting the Differential

Let’s say that you are most comfortable at 70 degrees during the winter season. You set the thermostat and go about your day. Every time the furnace comes on the house gets to feel uncomfortably warm. In between cycles when the furnace is off, the home becomes uncomfortably cold. The temperature differential is probably set at three degrees. That means that the temperature can get as warm as 73 degrees and as cold as 67 degrees before the thermostat responds to the temperature. This is what is causing your discomfort. Check with your thermostat manual for instructions to change the differential and set it back to one degree. This will give you the temperature you desire and eliminate this source of discomfort.

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One thought on “Temperature Differential Causing Discomfort

  1. Quite accurate observation. However, this is the cheapest solution to improve comfort. The bad news is, that the user will obtain comfort just when he/she stands next to the thermostat. I re-designed my duct work and replaced the AC unit, using a standard calculation software, that follows to the point the ASHRAE recommendations. Not to my surprise (because I knew in advance that the design parameters are set to fixed conditions, which are not fixed, because they depend of variable external conditions, like sun position, direction and speed of the winds, and they are not fixed, but dynamically changing through the day and along the year), I spent a couple of months measuring temperatures in 5 different areas of the house and found temperature differentials of up to 5F, related to the thermostat set point. Therefore, when comfort is the issue, the only way to obtain it, (plus some energy savings, regardless of the type of AC unit used), is to set a thermostat in every room where comfort is required. With that said, let’s be clear: splitting a house in upper/lower levels will improve comfort, but still will get 3 to 5 F rooms temperature difference with the thermostat setting, and will still not take full advantage of the energy savings associated with zoning.

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