You have likely heard that putting in a programmable thermostat can bring down your heating and cooling costs. While this is genuinely true, you don’t automatically save just by replacing your old manual thermostat for a programmable one. To make the most of your savings, you ought to select, set up and use a programmable thermostat effectively.
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 set back the temperature 7 to 10 degrees from its normal setting for eight hours every day. For the average home, this amounts to about $180 per year. Follow these programmable thermostat tips to save the most on your heating and cooling bill.
How to Shop for a Programmable Thermostat
As you look at different thermostats, check the compatibility with your HVAC system. As an example, radiant floor heating may necessitate a different type of thermostat than one designed for forced-air heating and cooling.
Then, evaluate the scheduling options. Most programmable thermostats have four daily programs—Wake, Leave, Home and Sleep, or something comparable. Different models offer varied levels of control during the week. Here are the four principal options:
- 7-day programming provides a different schedule each day. This is perfect if your family’s schedule fluctuates consistently.
- 5-1-1 programming creates 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 schedule setback periods while you're out of the house or sleeping makes it easier to save energy with a programmable thermostat. Establish the settings you prefer at the start of the season. While you can select the times and temperatures that are ideal for your family’s needs, here’s how an ordinary weekday schedule might work:
- Wake at 7:00 am: The thermostat provides a comfortable temperature in time for you to get out of bed. The DOE recommends 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees during the summer.
- Leave at 8:00 am: Program the thermostat to adjust 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 over the summer.
- Home at 5:30 pm: The automatic recovery schedule ensures a comfortable temperature before you get home from work. This setting should be around 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer.
- Sleep at 10:30 pm: Program the thermostat to the nighttime temperature about 30 minutes before bed. This nighttime setting should be set to 65 degrees in the winter and 80 degrees in 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 regularly change the settings. Add an extra layer in the winter or turn on a fan in the summer before changing the thermostat.
- Use the correct hold feature: All programmable thermostats allow temporary overrides without deleting the existing setting. This is known as the “temporary hold,” which only persists until the next programmed time. The "permanent/vacation hold” is for when you leave for longer periods. This overrides the settings indefinitely. The thermostat won’t return to your regular schedule until you personally clear the hold.
- Don’t make large 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 slight adjustment while preventing the energy waste of cranking the temperature way up or down.
- Change the batteries: Most programmable thermostats use 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 prefer to set it and forget it, turn to Freschi Service Experts for help selecting and installing a programmable thermostat. We can also tell you 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 more details or to request a free thermostat assessment, please call your local Freschi Service Experts office today.