What Are the Average Savings After Installing a Programmable Thermostat?

You have most likely heard that having a programmable thermostat can bring down your heating and cooling costs. While this is indeed true, you don’t immediately 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 properly.

As stated 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 automatically 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 the rest of your HVAC system. As an example, radiant floor heating might necessitate a different type of thermostat than one designed for forced-air heating and cooling.

Then, examine the scheduling options. Most programmable thermostats have four daily programs—Wake, Leave, Home and Sleep, or something close. Various models offer dynamic levels of control throughout the week. Here are the four primary options:

    • 7-day programming provides a different schedule every day. This is perfect if your family’s schedule changes consistently.
    • 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 distinct 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 ability to schedule 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 start of the season. While you can choose the times and temperatures that are ideal for your family’s needs, 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 wake up. The DOE recommends 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer.
    • Leave at 8:00 am: Instruct the thermostat to set the temperature back 10 degrees around 30 minutes before leaving for work. This setting should be about 58 degrees in the winter and 88 degrees over the summer.
    • Home at 5:30 pm: The automatic recovery schedule ensures a comfortable temperature before you are home for the day. 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 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 sacrificing comfort. Try these tips to get the most from your upgrade:

    • Don’t override programmed settings: You can always override the set temperature if you feel 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 allow temporary overrides without deleting the active setting. This is known as the “temporary hold,” which only lasts 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 go back to your regular schedule until you manually remove the hold.
    • Don’t make drastic 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 cranking the temperature way up or down.
    • Replace the batteries: Most programmable thermostats need batteries to stop the settings from being deleted because of a power outage. Make a habit of changing 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 prefer to set it and forget it, turn to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for help finding 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 more details or to request a free thermostat assessment, please call your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.