What Are the Average Savings After Installing a Programmable Thermostat?

You have likely heard that putting in a programmable thermostat can lower your heating and cooling costs. While this is certainly true, you don’t instantly save just by exchanging your old manual thermostat for a programmable one. To maximize your savings, you must 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 routinely adjust the temperature 7 to 10 degrees from its normal setting for eight hours each day. For the everyday 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, confirm the compatibility with your other equipment. 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 close. Separate models offer dynamic levels of control all through the week. Here are the four primary options: 

  • 7-day programming provides a different schedule every day. This is ideal if your family’s schedule changes regularly. 
  • 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 creates one schedule for every day of the week. 

How to Set Up a Programmable Thermostat 

The ability 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 want at the start of the season. While you can select the times and temperatures that are ideal for your family’s needs, here’s how a typical 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 suggests 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer. 
  • Leave at 8:00 am: Program the thermostat to set the temperature back 10 degrees around 30 minutes before heading into work. This setting should be around 58 degrees in the winter and 88 degrees for the summer. 
  • Home at 5:30 pm: The automatic recovery period ensures a comfortable temperature before you return home. This setting should be around 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees during the summer. 
  • Sleep at 10:30 pm: Program the thermostat to the nighttime temperature around 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. 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 feel uncomfortable. Although, your energy usage will go up if you consistently change the settings. Put on an extra layer in the winter or grab a fan in the summer before touching the thermostat. 
  • Use the correct hold feature: All programmable thermostats enable temporary overrides without deleting the existing setting. This is known as the “temporary hold,” which only lasts 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 go back to your regular schedule until you manually disable the hold. 
  • Don’t make steep temperature changes: When you must override a setting, change the thermostat by only a degree or two. You should feel more comfortable after making this small adjustment while preventing the energy waste of cranking the temperature way up or down. 
  • Change the batteries: Most programmable thermostats run on batteries to stop the settings from being deleted because of a power outage. Make a habit of replacing the batteries once a year 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 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. 

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