Program Your Way to Savings and Comfort

January 25, 2012

A programmable thermostat can save you approximately 10% of your energy costs per year by automatically adjusting your home’s temperature when you are home, asleep, or at work. After the initial installation, you’ll spend just a few minutes twice a year changing the temperature settings. For an average savings of about $200, that’s a pretty good payoff.

How do programmable thermostats actually work?  You program the thermostat to change the temperature about half an hour before you wake up, go to sleep, leave for work, or arrive from work. For example, if during the workweek you wake up at 6 a.m. and leave for work at 8; you return home at 6 p.m. and go to bed at 11; your program would look something like this during the winter:

Time 6am - 8 am 8am - 6pm 6pm - 11pm 11pm - 6am
Temperature Setting 70 65 70 65

Your thermostat allows your house to be cooler when you will be least affected.  Of course, you would change your settings during the summer months to make your home warmer when you will  be least affected. Using the example above, you will be saving money 17 hours a day!  Of course you will set your own temperatures and times, but remember the programmable thermostat saves you the most when it’s allowed to change the temperature for at least 8 hours.

Programmable thermostats also have a separate setting for weekends. Your thermostat keeps track of the day of the week. You can even select which days are your “weekend” and your “workweek”.

If you go on vacation, you can change the setting to maintain a specific temperature 24 hours a day while you are gone.  Then, just flip the switch back to your program to resume your desired  settings.

When you have your digital thermostat installed, be sure to place it in the right location in your home. Normally you don’t have the option of where to install; you simply replace the existing manual thermostat.  If you have the choice, however, remember that the drafts from doorways or windows, direct sunlight from windows and skylights, and air from cooling vents can affect how well your thermostat works. Of course, your thermostat should be placed where it is easily accessible for programming. If your home has more than one thermostat, you will need a programmable thermostat for each.

If you are not comfortable with the wiring involved in replacing an older unit, or if there is more than a simple replacement involved, contact us to schedule an installation.  Improper installation will negatively affect how your heating and cooling system operates.

Programmable thermostats are an easy way to save you up to 10% of your annual energy bill.  Spending a few minutes to program them can help save you hundreds of dollars this year.

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Last Updated: June 06, 2024