You have likely heard that having a programmable thermostat can lower your heating and cooling costs. While this is indeed true, you don’t automatically save just by replacing 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 by using a programmable thermostat to consistently set back 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 Secure a Programmable Thermostat
As you compare thermostats, check the compatibility with your HVAC system. For instance, radiant floor heating might require a different type of thermostat than one developed 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. Various models offer varying levels of control all through the week. Here are the four main options:
- 7-day programming allows for a different schedule on a daily basis. This is ideal if your family’s schedule varies consistently.
- 5-1-1 programming creates a weekday schedule and separate Saturday/Sunday schedules. This is good if your routine is about 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 the whole 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 the average weekday schedule might work:
- 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: Instruct the thermostat to adjust the temperature back 10 degrees around 30 minutes before going to work. This setting should be around 58 degrees during the winter and 88 degrees for the summer.
- Home at 5:30 pm: The automatic recovery period provides 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 benefit of a programmable thermostat is that you can save energy without losing out on 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 uncomfortable. However, your energy usage will go up if you consistently change the settings. Don an extra layer in the winter or use a fan in the summer before touching the thermostat.
- Use the correct hold feature: All programmable thermostats can create 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 leave for longer periods. This overrides the settings indefinitely. The thermostat won’t return to your regular schedule until you personally clear the hold.
- Don’t make drastic 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 minor adjustment while preventing the energy waste of turning the temperature way up or down.
- Change the batteries: Most programmable thermostats need batteries to stop the settings from being deleted during a power outage. Make a habit of checking the batteries yearly at a time you can easily remember, like the new year or when the kids go back to school in the fall.
Start Saving by Installing a Programmable Thermostat
If you prefer to set it and forget it, call Wesley Wood Service Experts for help finding 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 contact your local Wesley Wood Service Experts office today.