What Are the Average Savings After Installing a Programmable Thermostat?

You have probably heard that installing a programmable thermostat can bring down your heating and cooling costs. While this is indeed true, you don’t automatically 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 could save up to 10% on heating and cooling costs by using a programmable thermostat to routinely adjust the temperature 7 to 10 degrees from its normal setting for eight hours each day. For the ordinary home, this amounts to around $180 per year. Try these programmable thermostat tips to save the most on your heating and cooling costs.

How to Secure a Programmable Thermostat

As you look at different thermostats, confirm the compatibility with your other equipment. As an example, radiant floor heating might require a different type of thermostat than one created 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 varying levels of control throughout the week. Here are the four main options:

    • 7-day programming provides a different schedule every day. This is best if your family’s schedule varies consistently.
    • 5-1-1 programming generates a weekday schedule and separate Saturday/Sunday schedules. This is good if your routine is the same Monday through Friday but distinct on Saturday and Sunday.
    • 5-2 programming lets you set separate weekday and weekend schedules.
    • 1-week programming follows 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 prefer at the beginning of the season. While you can determine the times and temperatures that are best for your family’s preferences, here’s how the average weekday schedule might work:

    • Wake at 7:00 am: The thermostat achieves a comfortable temperature in time for you to get out of bed. The DOE suggests 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees for the summer.
    • Leave at 8:00 am: Program the thermostat to adjust 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 period resumes a comfortable temperature before you return home. This setting should be around 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees during 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 during the summer.

Getting Maximum Savings from a Programmable Thermostat

The best part about a programmable thermostat is that you can save energy without sacrificing comfort. Check out 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 uncomfortable. That said, your energy usage will go up if you consistently change the settings. Add 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 for longer periods. This overrides the settings indefinitely. The thermostat won’t resume your regular schedule until you manually clear the hold.
    • Don’t make drastic temperature changes: When you must override a setting, change the thermostat by only a degree or two. You should feel more comfortable after making this slight adjustment while avoiding the energy waste of adjusting the temperature way up or down.
    • Replace the batteries: Most programmable thermostats use 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 prefer 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 tell you 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 more information or to request a free thermostat assessment, please contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.