What Are the Average Savings After Installing a Programmable Thermostat?

You have probably heard that having a programmable thermostat can reduce your heating and cooling costs. While this is certainly true, you don’t instantly save just by swapping out your old manual thermostat for a programmable one. To maximize your savings, you ought to select, set up and use a programmable thermostat effectively.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), homeowners could 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. Check out these programmable thermostat tips to save the most on your heating and cooling costs.

How to Find a Programmable Thermostat

As you compare thermostats, confirm the compatibility with the rest of your HVAC system. For example, radiant floor heating can require a different type of thermostat than one created 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 main options:

    • 7-day programming provides a different schedule each day. This is perfect if your family’s schedule fluctuates regularly.
    • 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 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 capability to program setback periods while you’re out of the house or sleeping makes it easy to save energy with a programmable thermostat. Create the settings you want at the beginning of the season. While you can select the times and temperatures that work best 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 get out of bed. The DOE recommends 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees during the summer.
    • Leave at 8:00 am: Instruct the thermostat to set the temperature back 10 degrees about 30 minutes before leaving for work. This setting should be approximately 58 degrees in the winter and 88 degrees for the summer.
    • Home at 5:30 pm: The automatic recovery function resumes 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 for 30 minutes before bed. This nighttime setting should be set to 65 degrees in the winter and 80 degrees in 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. Check out these tips to get the most from your upgrade:

    • Avoid overriding programmed settings: You can always override the set temperature if you are uncomfortable. That said, your energy usage will increase if you consistently change the settings. Don 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 current setting. This is called the “temporary hold,” which only continues until the next programmed time. The “permanent/vacation hold” is for when you leave town. This overrides the settings indefinitely. The thermostat won’t return to your regular schedule until you manually remove 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 small adjustment while avoiding the energy waste of turning the temperature way up or down.
    • Change the batteries: Most programmable thermostats run on batteries to keep the settings from being deleted after 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 head off to school in the fall.

Start Saving by Installing a Programmable Thermostat

If you want to set it and forget it, turn to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for help selecting and installing a programmable thermostat. We can also provide details about Wi-Fi programmable thermostats, which are designed with 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 Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.

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