Heat Pump Thermostat: Add Efficiency to a Two-stage Heating System

Submitted By
Tom Kraeutler
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Q:

Do I need a heat pump thermostat? I have a two-stage heating system that switches from an electric heat pump to a gas furnace when the outside temperature drops to 10 degrees or when the temperature differential (set/actual) is more than a few degrees. Is it worth it to program my existing thermostat to a lower setting during the day if the system has to switch to gas to bring the house back to a comfortable temperature for the evening? And isn't a programmable thermostat doing more harm than good in this case (for my wallet and for the environment) by forcing the expensive gas backup system to come on?

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