What Are the Average Savings After Installing a Programmable Thermostat?
You have likely heard that having a programmable thermostat can lower your heating and cooling costs. While this is certainly true, you don’t instantly save just by replacing your old manual thermostat for a programmable one. To maximize your savings, you must 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 by using a programmable thermostat to automatically change 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. Follow these programmable thermostat tips to save the most on your heating and cooling bills.
How to Secure a Programmable Thermostat
As you compare thermostats, verify the compatibility with your HVAC system. For example, radiant floor heating can require a different type of thermostat than one created 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 comparable. Various models offer varied levels of control all through the week. Here are the four main options:
- 7-day programming allows for a different schedule every day. This is perfect if your family’s schedule fluctuates consistently.
- 5-1-1 programming creates a weekday schedule and separate Saturday/Sunday schedules. This is better if your routine is about 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 follows one schedule for every day of the week.
How to Set Up a Programmable Thermostat
The capability to set up setback periods while you’re away or sleeping makes it simpler to save energy with a programmable thermostat. Establish the settings you want at the beginning of the season. While you can select the times and temperatures that are best for your family’s needs, here’s how the average weekday schedule might work:
- Wake at 7:00 am: The thermostat reaches a comfortable temperature in time for you to get out of bed. The DOE suggests 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer.
- Leave at 8:00 am: Program the thermostat to set the temperature back 10 degrees about 30 minutes before going to work. This setting should be about 58 degrees in the winter and 88 degrees for 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 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 in 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. Although, your energy usage will go up if you constantly 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 enable temporary overrides without deleting the current setting. This is referred to as a “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 return to your regular schedule until you manually disable 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 preventing the energy waste of cranking the temperature way up or down.
- Change the batteries: Most programmable thermostats use batteries to keep 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 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 Matz-Rightway for help selecting 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 information or to request a free thermostat assessment, please contact your local Matz-Rightway office today.