You have probably heard that having a programmable thermostat can lower your heating and cooling costs. While this is genuinely true, you don’t instantly save just by swapping out your old manual thermostat for a programmable one. To maximize your savings, you ought to select, set up and use a programmable thermostat properly.
As stated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), homeowners could save up to 10% on heating and cooling costs if you use a programmable thermostat to consistently change the temperature 7 to 10 degrees from its normal setting for eight hours each day. For the everyday home, this amounts to close to $180 per year. Check out these programmable thermostat tips to save the most on your heating and cooling bills.
How to Find a Programmable Thermostat
As you look at different thermostats, check the compatibility with your HVAC system. For instance, radiant floor heating can require a different type of thermostat than one designed for forced-air heating and cooling.
Then, evaluate the scheduling functionality. 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 provides a different schedule on a daily basis. This is best if your family’s schedule changes regularly.
- 5-1-1 programming creates a weekday schedule and separate Saturday/Sunday schedules. This is better if your routine is about the same Monday through Friday but unique on Saturday and Sunday.
- 5-2 programming lets you set separate weekday and weekend schedules.
- 1-week programming sticks to one schedule for the entire week.
How to Set Up a Programmable Thermostat
The capability to set up setback periods while you’re away or sleeping makes it easier to save energy with a programmable thermostat. Create the settings you prefer at the start of the season. While you can choose the times and temperatures that work best for your family’s needs, here’s how the average weekday schedule might work:
- Wake at 7:00 am: The thermostat achieves a comfortable temperature in time for you to wake up. The DOE recommends 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees during the summer.
- Leave at 8:00 am: Instruct the thermostat to set the temperature back 10 degrees around 30 minutes before leaving for work. This setting should be around 58 degrees in the winter and 88 degrees in the summer.
- Home at 5:30 pm: The automatic recovery function resumes a comfortable temperature before you are home for the day. This setting should be approximately 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer.
- Sleep at 10:30 pm: Program the thermostat to the nighttime temperature for 30 minutes before bed. This nighttime setting should be around 65 degrees in the winter and 80 degrees through the summer.
Getting Maximum Savings from a Programmable Thermostat
The best benefit of a programmable thermostat is that you can save energy without losing out on comfort. Follow these tips to get the most from your upgrade:
- Avoid overriding programmed settings: You can always override the set temperature if you feel uncomfortable. However, your energy usage will increase if you constantly change the settings. Put on an extra layer in the winter or grab a fan in the summer before changing the thermostat.
- Use the correct hold feature: All programmable thermostats allow temporary overrides without deleting the active setting. This is known as the “temporary hold,” which only persists 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 drastic temperature changes: When you must override a setting, adjust the thermostat by just a degree or two. You should feel more comfortable after making this small adjustment while avoiding the energy waste of turning the temperature way up or down.
- Change the batteries: Most programmable thermostats need batteries to keep the settings from being deleted after a power outage. Make a habit of checking the batteries annually at a time you can easily remember, such as the new year or when the kids go back to school in the fall.
Start Saving by Installing a Programmable Thermostat
If you’re ready to set it and forget it, call Teays Valley Service Experts for help selecting and installing a programmable thermostat. We can also provide details about Wi-Fi programmable thermostats, which are designed with even more benefits such as remote temperature control, learning capabilities, motion sensors, auto-generated energy reports and more. For additional information or to request a free thermostat assessment, please contact your local Teays Valley Service Experts office today.