What Are the Average Savings After Installing a Programmable Thermostat?
You have most likely heard that putting in a programmable thermostat can lower your heating and cooling costs. While this is genuinely true, you don’t automatically save just by replacing your old manual thermostat for a programmable one. To make the most of your savings, you must select, set up and use a programmable thermostat properly.
As stated 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 automatically 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 bills.
How to Secure a Programmable Thermostat
As you look at different thermostats, verify the compatibility with your HVAC system. For instance, radiant floor heating can require a different type of thermostat than one created for forced-air heating and cooling.
Then, assess the scheduling options. Most programmable thermostats have four daily programs—Wake, Leave, Home and Sleep, or something close. Separate models offer varied levels of control all through the week. Here are the four main options:
- 7-day programming provides a different schedule every day. This is perfect if your family’s schedule fluctuates daily.
- 5-1-1 programming offers a weekday schedule and separate Saturday/Sunday schedules. This is good 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 follows one schedule for every day of the week.
How to Set Up a Programmable Thermostat
The ability to schedule setback periods while you're gone or sleeping makes it easier 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 schedules, 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 during the summer.
- Leave at 8:00 am: Program the thermostat to set the temperature back 10 degrees around 30 minutes before going to work. This setting should be about 58 degrees during the winter and 88 degrees in the summer.
- Home at 5:30 pm: The automatic recovery schedule ensures a comfortable temperature before you return home. 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 for 30 minutes before bed. This nighttime setting should be around 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 comfort. Try these tips to get the most from your upgrade:
- Don't override programmed settings: You can always override the current temperature if you are really uncomfortable. Although, your energy usage will increase if you constantly change the settings. Put on an extra layer in the winter or grab a fan in the summer before adjusting the thermostat.
- Use the correct hold feature: All programmable thermostats enable temporary overrides without deleting the existing 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 personally 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 small adjustment while avoiding the energy waste of cranking the temperature way up or down.
- Change the batteries: Most programmable thermostats need batteries to keep the settings from being deleted after a power outage. Make a habit of checking 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’re ready to set it and forget it, call Coastal Service Experts for help choosing and installing a programmable thermostat. We can also share more info 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 contact your local Coastal Service Experts office today.