You have most likely heard that putting in a programmable thermostat can bring down your heating and cooling costs. While this is genuinely true, you don’t automatically 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 properly.
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 automatically adjust the temperature 7 to 10 degrees from its normal setting for eight hours each day. For the average home, this amounts to about $180 per year. Try these programmable thermostat tips to save the most on your heating and cooling costs.
How to Shop for a Programmable Thermostat
As you compare thermostats, confirm the compatibility with your other equipment. For example, radiant floor heating can call for 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 dynamic levels of control during the week. Here are the four principal options:
- 7-day programming allows for a different schedule every day. This is perfect if your family’s schedule varies daily.
- 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 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 entire 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. Establish the settings you want at the start of the season. While you can choose the times and temperatures that are best for your family’s preferences, 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 get out of bed. The DOE recommends 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees for the summer.
- Leave at 8:00 am: Program the thermostat to set the temperature back 10 degrees around 30 minutes before leaving for work. This setting should be around 58 degrees in the winter and 88 degrees over the summer.
- Home at 5:30 pm: The automatic recovery schedule ensures a comfortable temperature before you return home. This setting should be around 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer.
- Sleep at 10:30 pm: Program the thermostat to the nighttime temperature around 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 part about a programmable thermostat is that you can save energy without sacrificing comfort. Try these tips to get the most from your upgrade:
- Avoid overriding programmed settings: You can always override the set temperature if you are uncomfortable. However, your energy usage will increase if you constantly change the settings. Don an extra layer in the winter or turn on a fan in the summer before changing 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 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 slight adjustment while avoiding the energy waste of adjusting the temperature way up or down.
- Replace the batteries: Most programmable thermostats run on batteries to stop the settings from being deleted after a power outage. Make a habit of changing the batteries annually at a time you can easily remember, such as the new year or when the kids head off to school in the fall.
Start Saving by Installing a Programmable Thermostat
If you’re ready to set it and forget it, choose Eveready Service Experts for help choosing and installing a programmable thermostat. We can also provide details about Wi-Fi programmable thermostats, which come with even more benefits such as remote temperature control, learning capabilities, motion sensors, auto-generated energy reports and more. For more details or to request a free thermostat assessment, please call your local Eveready Service Experts office today.