You have most likely heard that having a programmable thermostat can lower your heating and cooling costs. While this is genuinely true, you don’t immediately save just by replacing your old manual thermostat for a programmable one. To optimize 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 by using a programmable thermostat to automatically set back the temperature 7 to 10 degrees from its normal setting for eight hours each day. For the ordinary home, this amounts to close to $180 per year. Follow these programmable thermostat tips to save the most on your heating and cooling costs.
How to Secure a Programmable Thermostat
As you compare thermostats, check the compatibility with your other equipment. As an example, radiant floor heating might require a different type of thermostat than one designed for forced-air heating and cooling.
Then, examine the scheduling functionality. Most programmable thermostats have four daily programs—Wake, Leave, Home and Sleep, or something similar. Separate models offer varying levels of control during the week. Here are the four principal options:
- 7-day programming allows for a different schedule on a daily basis. This is ideal if your family’s schedule varies regularly.
- 5-1-1 programming creates a weekday schedule and separate Saturday/Sunday schedules. This is better if your routine is consistent Monday through Friday but unique on Saturday and Sunday.
- 5-2 programming lets you set separate weekday and weekend schedules.
- 1-week programming follows one schedule for the entire week.
How to Set Up a Programmable Thermostat
The ability to program setback periods while you're out of the house or sleeping makes it easy to save energy with a programmable thermostat. Finalize the settings you want at the beginning of the season. While you can select the times and temperatures that work best for your family’s preferences, 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 for the summer.
- Leave at 8:00 am: Program the thermostat to set the temperature back 10 degrees about 30 minutes before heading into work. This setting should be approximately 58 degrees in the winter and 88 degrees for the summer.
- Home at 5:30 pm: The automatic recovery schedule provides a comfortable temperature before you get home from work. 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 about 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 aspect of a programmable thermostat is that you can save energy without losing out on comfort. Check out these tips to get the most from your upgrade:
- Avoid overriding programmed settings: You can always override the current temperature if you feel uncomfortable. Although, your energy usage will go up 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 enable temporary overrides without deleting the active setting. This is called 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 resume your regular schedule until you manually clear the hold.
- Don’t make large 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 minor adjustment while avoiding the energy waste of adjusting the temperature way up or down.
- Change the batteries: Most programmable thermostats need batteries to prevent the settings from being deleted after a power outage. Make a habit of replacing the batteries yearly at a time you can easily remember, such as the new year or when the kids return to school in the fall.
Start Saving by Installing a Programmable Thermostat
If you’re ready to set it and forget it, choose Comfort Masters Service Experts for help selecting and installing a programmable thermostat. We can also provide details about Wi-Fi programmable thermostats, which offer even more benefits thanks to remote temperature control, learning capabilities, motion sensors, auto-generated energy reports and more. For more information or to request a free thermostat assessment, please contact your local Comfort Masters Service Experts office today.