What Are the Average Savings After Installing a Programmable Thermostat?
You have probably heard that installing a programmable thermostat can lower your heating and cooling costs. While this is genuinely true, you don’t immediately save just by replacing your old manual thermostat for a programmable one. To maximize your savings, you should select, set up and use a programmable thermostat effectively.
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 routinely change 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 bills.
How to Find a Programmable Thermostat
As you compare thermostats, check the compatibility with the rest of your HVAC system. For instance, radiant floor heating can call for a different type of thermostat than one developed for forced-air heating and cooling.
Then, evaluate the scheduling functionality. Most programmable thermostats have four daily programs—Wake, Leave, Home and Sleep, or something comparable. Separate models offer varied levels of control all through the week. Here are the four primary options:
- 7-day programming allows for a different schedule on a daily basis. This is best if your family’s schedule changes consistently.
- 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 sticks to 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 simpler to save energy with a programmable thermostat. Establish the settings you prefer at the start of the season. While you can select the times and temperatures that are ideal for your family’s schedules, here’s how a typical weekday schedule might look:
- Wake at 7:00 am: The thermostat provides a comfortable temperature in time for you to wake up. The DOE suggests 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer.
- Leave at 8:00 am: Program the thermostat to adjust the temperature back 10 degrees about 30 minutes before heading into work. This setting should be about 58 degrees in the winter and 88 degrees in the summer.
- Home at 5:30 pm: The automatic recovery function ensures a comfortable temperature before you return home. This setting should be about 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 through the summer.
Getting Maximum Savings from a Programmable Thermostat
The best aspect of a programmable thermostat is that you can save energy without losing comfort. Try these tips to get the most from your upgrade:
- Don't override programmed settings: You can always override the current temperature if you feel uncomfortable. Although, your energy usage will increase if you constantly change the settings. Put on an extra layer in the winter or grab a fan in the summer before changing the thermostat.
- Use the correct hold feature: All programmable thermostats enable 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 are out of town. This overrides the settings indefinitely. The thermostat won’t go back to your regular schedule until you personally remove 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 minor adjustment while preventing the energy waste of adjusting the temperature way up or down.
- Change the batteries: Most programmable thermostats need batteries to prevent the settings from being deleted during a power outage. Make a habit of checking the batteries yearly 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, call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning for help finding and installing a programmable thermostat. We can also share more info about Wi-Fi programmable thermostats, which come with even more benefits thanks to 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 Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office today.