You have most likely heard that installing a programmable thermostat can reduce your heating and cooling costs. While this is indeed true, you don’t instantly save just by replacing your old manual thermostat for a programmable one. To maximize your savings, you ought to select, set up and use a programmable thermostat to the fullest.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), homeowners could save up to 10% on heating and cooling costs by using a programmable thermostat to consistently change the temperature 7 to 10 degrees from its normal setting for eight hours each day. For the average home, this amounts to around $180 per year. Try these programmable thermostat tips to save the most on your heating and cooling bill.
How to Find a Programmable Thermostat
As you compare thermostats, confirm the compatibility with your other equipment. For instance, radiant floor heating may require a different type of thermostat than one created for forced-air heating and cooling.
Then, examine the scheduling controls. Most programmable thermostats have four daily programs—Wake, Leave, Home and Sleep, or something comparable. Various models offer varied levels of control throughout the week. Here are the four primary options:
- 7-day programming allows a different schedule on a daily basis. This is perfect if your family’s schedule changes daily.
- 5-1-1 programming generates a weekday schedule and separate Saturday/Sunday schedules. This is best if your routine is consistent Monday through Friday but different on Saturday and Sunday.
- 5-2 programming lets you set separate weekday and weekend schedules.
- 1-week programming follows one schedule for the whole week.
How to Set Up a Programmable Thermostat
The capability to program setback periods while you're out of the house or sleeping makes it simpler to save energy with a programmable thermostat. Create the settings you prefer at the beginning of the season. While you can select the times and temperatures that work best for your family’s schedules, here’s how the average weekday schedule might work:
- Wake at 7:00 am: The thermostat provides a comfortable temperature in time for you to wake up. The DOE suggests 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer.
- Leave at 8:00 am: Instruct the thermostat to adjust the temperature back 10 degrees about 30 minutes before leaving for work. This setting should be around 58 degrees during the winter and 88 degrees over the summer.
- Home at 5:30 pm: The automatic recovery schedule provides a comfortable temperature before you return home. This setting should be about 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer.
- Sleep at 10:30 pm: Program the thermostat to the nighttime temperature around 30 minutes before bed. This nighttime setting should be set to 65 degrees in the winter and 80 degrees during the summer.
Getting Maximum Savings from a Programmable Thermostat
The best part about a programmable thermostat is that you can save energy without losing out on comfort. Follow these tips to get the most from your upgrade:
- Don't override programmed settings: You can always override the set temperature if you feel uncomfortable. Although, your energy usage will increase if you consistently change the settings. Don an extra layer in the winter or use a fan in the summer before changing the thermostat.
- Use the correct hold feature: All programmable thermostats can create temporary overrides without deleting the active setting. This is called the “temporary hold,” which only lasts until the next programmed time. The "permanent/vacation hold” is for when you are out of town. This overrides the settings indefinitely. The thermostat won’t go back to your regular schedule until you personally remove the hold.
- Don’t make steep temperature changes: When you must override a setting, change the thermostat by just a degree or two. You should feel more comfortable after making this slight adjustment while preventing the energy waste of cranking the temperature way up or down.
- Replace the batteries: Most programmable thermostats run on batteries to prevent the settings from being deleted because of a power outage. Make a habit of replacing the batteries annually at a time you can easily remember, like the new year or when the kids go back to school in the fall.
Start Saving by Installing a Programmable Thermostat
If you want to set it and forget it, call Levy & Son Service Experts for help choosing and installing a programmable thermostat. We can also share more info about Wi-Fi programmable thermostats, which come with even more benefits thanks to remote temperature control, learning capabilities, motion sensors, auto-generated energy reports and more. For additional information or to request a free thermostat assessment, please call your local Levy & Son Service Experts office today.