What Are the Average Savings After Installing a Programmable Thermostat?

You have likely heard that having a programmable thermostat can reduce your heating and cooling costs. While this is indeed true, you don’t immediately save just by exchanging your old manual thermostat for a programmable one. To maximize your savings, you should 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 with the help of a programmable thermostat to routinely adjust the temperature 7 to 10 degrees from its normal setting for eight hours every day. For the everyday home, this amounts to about $180 per year. Try these programmable thermostat tips to save the most on your heating and cooling bill.

How to Secure a Programmable Thermostat

As you look at different thermostats, verify the compatibility with the rest of your HVAC system. As an example, radiant floor heating might require a different type of thermostat than one developed for forced-air heating and cooling.

Then, evaluate the scheduling controls. Most programmable thermostats have four daily programs—Wake, Leave, Home and Sleep, or something similar. Different models offer dynamic levels of control throughout the week. Here are the four principal options:

    • 7-day programming allows a different schedule on a daily basis. This is best if your family’s schedule varies regularly.
    • 5-1-1 programming offers a weekday schedule and separate Saturday/Sunday schedules. This is good 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 follows one schedule for every day of the week.

How to Set Up a Programmable Thermostat

The capability to set up setback periods while you’re away or sleeping makes it easy 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 schedules, here’s how a typical weekday schedule might look:

    • Wake at 7:00 am: The thermostat reaches 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 adjust the temperature back 10 degrees around 30 minutes before leaving for work. This setting should be about 58 degrees during the winter and 88 degrees for the summer.
    • Home at 5:30 pm: The automatic recovery function ensures 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 about 65 degrees in the winter and 80 degrees during the summer.

Getting Maximum Savings from a Programmable Thermostat

The best benefit of a programmable thermostat is that you can save energy without losing comfort. Try these tips to get the most from your upgrade:

    • Avoid overriding programmed settings: You can always override the set temperature if you feel uncomfortable. That said, your energy usage will increase if you constantly change the settings. Add an extra layer in the winter or grab a fan in the summer before adjusting the thermostat.
    • Use the correct hold feature: All programmable thermostats enable temporary overrides without deleting the current setting. This is called the “temporary hold,” which only persists until the next programmed time. The “permanent/vacation hold” is for when you leave town. This overrides the settings indefinitely. The thermostat won’t go back to your regular schedule until you manually 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 small adjustment while preventing the energy waste of adjusting the temperature way up or down.
    • Change the batteries: Most programmable thermostats need batteries to keep the settings from being deleted during a power outage. Make a habit of changing the batteries yearly 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 Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for help choosing and installing a programmable thermostat. We can also provide details about Wi-Fi programmable thermostats, which are designed with even more benefits like 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 Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.