You have probably heard that putting in a programmable thermostat can lower your heating and cooling costs. While this is genuinely true, you don’t immediately save just by swapping out your old manual thermostat for a programmable one. To optimize 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 if you use a programmable thermostat to automatically set back the temperature 7 to 10 degrees from its normal setting for eight hours every day. For the everyday 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 Shop for a Programmable Thermostat
As you look at different thermostats, check the compatibility with the rest of your HVAC system. As an example, radiant floor heating can require 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. Different models offer varying levels of control all through the week. Here are the four principal options:
- 7-day programming allows for a different schedule each day. This is perfect if your family’s schedule varies regularly.
- 5-1-1 programming generates a weekday schedule and separate Saturday/Sunday schedules. This is best 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 sticks to one schedule for the whole week.
How to Set Up a Programmable Thermostat
The ability to program setback periods while you're out of the house or sleeping makes it simpler to save energy with a programmable thermostat. Finalize the settings you want at the start of the season. While you can choose the times and temperatures that work best for your family’s preferences, 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 start your day. 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 heading into 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 approximately 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer.
- Sleep at 10:30 pm: Program the thermostat to the nighttime temperature around 30 minutes before bed. This nighttime setting should be set to 65 degrees in the winter and 80 degrees during the summer.
Getting Maximum Savings from a Programmable Thermostat
The best benefit of a programmable thermostat is that you can save energy without losing comfort. Follow these tips to get the most from your upgrade:
- Avoid overriding programmed settings: You can always override the current temperature if you are uncomfortable. That said, your energy usage will increase if you consistently 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 allow temporary overrides without deleting the active setting. This is called the “temporary hold,” which only persists 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 manually clear 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 small 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 because of a power outage. Make a habit of changing the batteries annually 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 want to set it and forget it, turn to Winnipeg Supply Service Experts for help finding and installing a programmable thermostat. We can also share more info about Wi-Fi programmable thermostats, which offer even more benefits like remote temperature control, learning capabilities, motion sensors, auto-generated energy reports and more. For more information or to request a free thermostat assessment, please contact your local Winnipeg Supply Service Experts office today.