You have probably heard that putting in a programmable thermostat can bring down your heating and cooling costs. While this is indeed true, you don’t immediately save just by swapping out 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 to the fullest.
As reported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), homeowners can save up to 10% on heating and cooling costs if you use a programmable thermostat to routinely set back the temperature 7 to 10 degrees from its normal setting for eight hours each day. For the average home, this amounts to close to $180 per year. Follow these programmable thermostat tips to save the most on your heating and cooling bill.
How to Secure a Programmable Thermostat
As you compare thermostats, check the compatibility with your HVAC system. For instance, radiant floor heating may require a different type of thermostat than one created 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 all through the week. Here are the four principal options:
- 7-day programming allows for a different schedule every day. This is best if your family’s schedule fluctuates consistently.
- 5-1-1 programming creates a weekday schedule and separate Saturday/Sunday schedules. This is better if your routine is 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 whole 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 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 an ordinary weekday schedule might look:
- Wake at 7:00 am: The thermostat achieves a comfortable temperature in time for you to start your day. The DOE recommends 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees for 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 in the winter and 88 degrees in the summer.
- Home at 5:30 pm: The automatic recovery schedule ensures a comfortable temperature before you are home for the day. 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 about 30 minutes before bed. This nighttime setting should be around 65 degrees in the winter and 80 degrees in the summer.
Getting Maximum Savings from a Programmable Thermostat
The best part about a programmable thermostat is that you can save energy without losing comfort. Try 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. However, your energy usage will go up if you regularly change the settings. Don an extra layer in the winter or turn on a fan in the summer before touching the thermostat.
- Use the correct hold feature: All programmable thermostats enable temporary overrides without deleting the current setting. This is referred to as a “temporary hold,” which only continues 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 small adjustment while avoiding the energy waste of adjusting 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, 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 Knochelmann 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 additional information or to request a free thermostat assessment, please contact your local Knochelmann Service Experts office today.