What Are the Average Savings After Installing a Programmable Thermostat?

You have likely heard that putting in a programmable thermostat can reduce 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.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), homeowners can save up to 10% on heating and cooling costs with the help of a programmable thermostat to consistently adjust 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. Try these programmable thermostat tips to save the most on your heating and cooling bills.

How to Shop for a Programmable Thermostat

As you look at different thermostats, check the compatibility with your HVAC system. For instance, radiant floor heating can necessitate 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 similar. Various models offer varied levels of control throughout the week. Here are the four main options:

    • 7-day programming allows a different schedule every day. This is best if your family’s schedule fluctuates consistently.
    • 5-1-1 programming generates a weekday schedule and separate Saturday/Sunday schedules. This is best 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 creates 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 easier to save energy with a programmable thermostat. Establish the settings you prefer at the start of the season. While you can determine the times and temperatures that are best for your family’s schedules, here’s how an ordinary weekday schedule might work:

    • Wake at 7:00 am: The thermostat achieves 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: Instruct the thermostat to adjust the temperature back 10 degrees around 30 minutes before going to 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 function provides a comfortable temperature before you get home from work. This setting should be approximately 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees during 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 part about a programmable thermostat is that you can save energy without losing comfort. Check out these tips to get the most from your upgrade:

    • Try not to override programmed settings: You can always override the set temperature if you are really uncomfortable. However, your energy usage will go up if you constantly change the settings. Put on an extra layer in the winter or use a fan in the summer before changing the thermostat.
    • Use the correct hold feature: All programmable thermostats can create 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 leave for longer periods. This overrides the settings indefinitely. The thermostat won’t go back to your regular schedule until you personally clear the hold.
    • Don’t make steep 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 avoiding the energy waste of adjusting the temperature way up or down.
    • Change the batteries: Most programmable thermostats use batteries to stop the settings from being deleted during a power outage. Make a habit of checking the batteries once a year at a time you can easily remember, like the new year or when the kids return to school in the fall.

Start Saving by Installing a Programmable Thermostat

If you want to set it and forget it, call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for help finding and installing a programmable thermostat. We can also share more info about Wi-Fi programmable thermostats, which come with even more benefits like remote temperature control, learning capabilities, motion sensors, auto-generated energy reports and more. For more information or to request a free thermostat assessment, please call your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.