What Are the Average Savings After Installing a Programmable Thermostat?

You have probably heard that putting in a programmable thermostat can reduce your heating and cooling costs. While this is certainly true, you don’t instantly 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 can save up to 10% on heating and cooling costs with the help of a programmable thermostat to consistently change the temperature 7 to 10 degrees from its normal setting for eight hours each day. For the ordinary home, this amounts to about $180 per year. Follow these programmable thermostat tips to save the most on your heating and cooling bills. 

How to Secure a Programmable Thermostat 

As you look at different thermostats, verify the compatibility with your other equipment. For example, radiant floor heating might require a different type of thermostat than one designed 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 similar. Various models offer varying levels of control throughout the week. Here are the four principal options: 

  • 7-day programming allows a different schedule every day. This is perfect if your family’s schedule changes regularly. 
  • 5-1-1 programming creates a weekday schedule and separate Saturday/Sunday schedules. This is better if your routine is 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 creates one schedule for every day of the week. 

How to Set Up a Programmable Thermostat 

The capability to schedule setback periods while you’re away or sleeping makes it simpler to save energy with a programmable thermostat. Finalize the settings you want at the beginning of the season. While you can choose the times and temperatures that are best for your family’s preferences, here’s how a typical weekday schedule might look: 

  • Wake at 7:00 am: The thermostat achieves a comfortable temperature in time for you to wake up. 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 around 30 minutes before heading into work. This setting should be about 58 degrees during the winter and 88 degrees over the summer. 
  • Home at 5:30 pm: The automatic recovery schedule provides a comfortable temperature before you are home for the day. This setting should be about 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 about 65 degrees in the winter and 80 degrees through 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: 

  • Try not to override programmed settings: You can always override the set temperature if you are really uncomfortable. That said, your energy usage will increase if you constantly change the settings. Don an extra layer in the winter or use a fan in the summer before adjusting the thermostat. 
  • Use the correct hold feature: All programmable thermostats enable temporary overrides without deleting the active 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 go back to your regular schedule until you manually remove 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 minor adjustment while avoiding the energy waste of adjusting the temperature way up or down. 
  • Replace the batteries: Most programmable thermostats use batteries to stop the settings from being deleted because of a power outage. Make a habit of replacing the batteries yearly at a time you can easily remember, such as the new year or when the kids return to school in the fall. 

Start Saving by Installing a Programmable Thermostat 

If you’re ready to set it and forget it, choose Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for help choosing 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 additional information or to request a free thermostat assessment, please contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today. 

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