You have most likely heard that having a programmable thermostat can reduce your heating and cooling costs. While this is genuinely true, you don’t instantly save just by exchanging your old manual thermostat for a programmable one. To maximize your savings, you ought to select, set up and use a programmable thermostat effectively.
As stated 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 ordinary home, this amounts to close to $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 look at different thermostats, confirm the compatibility with your other equipment. As an example, radiant floor heating might call for a different type of thermostat than one created for forced-air heating and cooling.
Then, evaluate the scheduling options. Most programmable thermostats have four daily programs—Wake, Leave, Home and Sleep, or something comparable. Separate models offer varied levels of control during 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 daily.
- 5-1-1 programming creates a weekday schedule and separate Saturday/Sunday schedules. This is better if your routine is consistent 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 whole week.
How to Set Up a Programmable Thermostat
The ability to schedule setback periods while you’re away or sleeping makes it easier to save energy with a programmable thermostat. Finalize the settings you prefer at the start 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 look:
- Wake at 7:00 am: The thermostat provides a comfortable temperature in time for you to get out of bed. 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 about 30 minutes before leaving for work. This setting should be about 58 degrees during the winter and 88 degrees for the summer.
- Home at 5:30 pm: The automatic recovery function resumes a comfortable temperature before you get home from work. 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 about 65 degrees in the winter and 80 degrees in the summer.
Getting Maximum Savings from a Programmable Thermostat
The best part about 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:
- Avoid overriding programmed settings: You can always override the set temperature if you feel uncomfortable. That said, your energy usage will go up if you regularly change the settings. Put on an extra layer in the winter or use a fan in the summer before changing the thermostat.
- Use the correct hold feature: All programmable thermostats enable temporary overrides without deleting the active setting. This is referred to as a “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 resume your regular schedule until you personally clear the hold.
- Don’t make steep temperature changes: When you must override a setting, adjust the thermostat by just a degree or two. You should feel more comfortable after making this small adjustment while preventing the energy waste of turning the temperature way up or down.
- Change the batteries: Most programmable thermostats use batteries to stop the settings from being deleted because of 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 head off to school in the fall.
Start Saving by Installing a Programmable Thermostat
If you prefer to set it and forget it, turn to San Antonio Air Service Experts for help choosing and installing a programmable thermostat. We can also share more info 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 additional information or to request a free thermostat assessment, please contact your local San Antonio Air Service Experts office today.