You have probably heard that installing a programmable thermostat can bring down your heating and cooling costs. While this is genuinely true, you don’t instantly save just by replacing your old manual thermostat for a programmable one. To maximize your savings, you ought to select, set up and use a programmable thermostat to the fullest.
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 automatically adjust 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. Check out 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, confirm the compatibility with your other equipment. As an example, radiant floor heating might necessitate a different type of thermostat than one designed for forced-air heating and cooling.
Then, examine the scheduling options. 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 primary options:
- 7-day programming allows a different schedule each day. This is ideal if your family’s schedule changes consistently.
- 5-1-1 programming offers a weekday schedule and separate Saturday/Sunday schedules. This is better if your routine is the same 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 entire week.
How to Set Up a Programmable Thermostat
The capability to schedule setback periods while you're gone or sleeping makes it easy to save energy with a programmable thermostat. Create the settings you want at the start of the season. While you can determine the times and temperatures that work best for your family’s preferences, here’s how the average 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: Program the thermostat to adjust the temperature back 10 degrees around 30 minutes before leaving for work. This setting should be around 58 degrees during the winter and 88 degrees over the summer.
- Home at 5:30 pm: The automatic recovery schedule resumes a comfortable temperature before you are home for the day. 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 for 30 minutes before bed. This nighttime setting should be set to 65 degrees in the winter and 80 degrees through 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. Check out these tips to get the most from your upgrade:
- Avoid overriding programmed settings: You can always override the set temperature if you are uncomfortable. That said, your energy usage will go up if you constantly change the settings. Don an extra layer in the winter or use a fan in the summer before adjusting the thermostat.
- Use the correct hold feature: All programmable thermostats enable temporary overrides without deleting the active setting. This is known as the “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 resume 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 only a degree or two. You should feel more comfortable after making this slight adjustment while avoiding the energy waste of cranking the temperature way up or down.
- Replace the batteries: Most programmable thermostats need batteries to stop the settings from being deleted after a power outage. Make a habit of checking 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 want to set it and forget it, choose Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air for help selecting 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 Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air office today.