You have most likely heard that having a programmable thermostat can bring down your heating and cooling costs. While this is genuinely true, you don’t automatically save just by exchanging 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 effectively.
As reported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), homeowners could save up to 10% on heating and cooling costs by using a programmable thermostat to routinely change the temperature 7 to 10 degrees from its normal setting for eight hours every day. For the average home, this amounts to around $180 per year. Check out 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, verify the compatibility with the rest of your HVAC system. For instance, radiant floor heating might call for a different type of thermostat than one created 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 close. Various models offer varied levels of control all through the week. Here are the four principal options:
- 7-day programming allows a different schedule each day. This is ideal if your family’s schedule varies daily.
- 5-1-1 programming creates a weekday schedule and separate Saturday/Sunday schedules. This is better if your routine is about 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 every day of the week.
How to Set Up a Programmable Thermostat
The ability to schedule setback periods while you're out of the house or sleeping makes it simpler to save energy with a programmable thermostat. Create the settings you prefer at the beginning 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 work:
- Wake at 7:00 am: The thermostat reaches a comfortable temperature in time for you to wake up. The DOE suggests 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees during the summer.
- Leave at 8:00 am: Program the thermostat to adjust the temperature back 10 degrees around 30 minutes before going to work. This setting should be approximately 58 degrees in the winter and 88 degrees over the summer.
- Home at 5:30 pm: The automatic recovery function ensures a comfortable temperature before you return home. 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 about 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 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:
- Don't override programmed settings: You can always override the set temperature if you are really uncomfortable. However, your energy usage will increase if you consistently change the settings. Put on 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 can create temporary overrides without deleting the existing setting. This is referred to as a “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 manually clear the hold.
- Don’t make drastic 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 small adjustment while preventing the energy waste of cranking the temperature way up or down.
- Replace the batteries: Most programmable thermostats run on batteries to stop the settings from being deleted during a power outage. Make a habit of replacing 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, call Sunbeam Service Experts for help finding and installing a programmable thermostat. We can also provide details about Wi-Fi programmable thermostats, which offer even more benefits such as 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 Sunbeam Service Experts office today.