Programmable thermostats have the potential to save homeowners money. The secret to success is the way you use them. A programmable thermostat is ideal for people who are away from home during set periods of time throughout the week. Through proper use of pre-programmed settings, a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 every year in energy costs. However, it is extremely important to be well-educated about their proper use and how to program the thermostat properly. According to Energy Star, about 45 percent of a home’s energy is utilized for heating and cooling. Unfortunately, some of that goes toward heating or cooling unoccupied spaces. For every one degree you turn your thermostat down, you will use approximately one percent less energy.
Here are some rules of thumb for proper use:
• Keep the temperature set at its energy savings set-points for long periods of time (at least 8 hours), for example, during the day, when no one is at home, and through the night, after bedtime.
• All thermostats let you temporarily make it warmer or cooler, without erasing the pre-set programming. this override is cancelled automatically at the next program period. Remember, you will use more energy and end up paying more if you consistently “hold” or over-ride the pre-programmed settings.
• Units usually have two types of hold features: (a) hold/permanent/vacation; (b) temporary. Avoid using the hold/permanent/vacation feature to manage day to day temperature settings. “Hold” or “vacation” features are best used when you’re planning to be away for an extended period of time. Set this feature at a constant, efficient temperature.
• Setting your unit to 90 degrees or down to 40 degrees will not heat or cool your home any faster. Most programmable thermostats begin to heat or cool at a set time to reach set temperatures. Units with adaptive recovery features are the exception to this rule. These units are constantly calculating the amount of time required to heat or cool the house so that it reaches that temperature when the homeowner programmed it. By examining the performance of the past few days, the thermostat can keep track of the sessions.
• Many homes use just one thermostat to control the whole house. If your house has multiple heating and cooling zones, you will need a programmed setback thermostat for each zone of the house for each zone to maximize comfort, convenience and energy savings.
• If your thermostat runs on batteries, don’t forget to change the batteries each year. Some units will indicate when batteries must be changed.
Why should you choose a programmable thermostat?
It really does save you money. The best way to combat high bills is to reduce your energy usage. Instead of heating or cooling your house while you are away, you are able to save energy and money by customizing a
schedule that adapts to your routine. Your energy savings will quickly offset the minimal cost of making the upgrade.
Automation equals convenience and savings. Before programmable thermostats our members were stuck with two options: pay to heat or cool your home while out, or come home to uncomfortable temperatures to save. Now, programmable thermostats can do the work for you without giving it a second thought. No need for adjusting the temperature during the day.
Programmable thermostats provide reliable precision. These thermostats are precise and give you the ability to adjust and pinpoint the exact temp ideal for you. Every degree can lead you to save one to two percent on utility bills.
These thermostats keep a consistent temperature. They can also run at a constant level, maintaining the perfect temperature in your home as it follows your customizable schedule.
They increase your home’s efficiency. Your home becomes more energy-efficient throughout all seasons when you choose to use a programmable thermostat. This means you are utilizing resources more efficiently, better preserving your systems and appliances as time goes on.
It will optimize your home’s HVAC system. If your HVAC system is nearing the end of its life, but you aren’t financially ready to commit to a full upgrade, pairing your HVAC system with a programmable thermostat provides a more affordable way to help your system operate in the meantime. Then, when you do make the upgrade, already having a programmable thermostat will start you on the right foot by optimizing the efficiency and lifespan of your new unit.
Some models provide system alerts. Some models may include sensors that monitor your air filter, notifying you when it is ready to change with an indicator light. Depending on the model, the automatic thermostat will alert you when various parts need to be checked or serviced, which helps you catch issues early. New models let you control your thermostat from anywhere. If you go with a “smart” thermostat, you will be able to use WIFI to program it remotely from a computer or smartphone.
“Smart” models will allow you to lock your settings. Locking your settings will ensure someone does not tamper with your thermostat and change the temperature unexpectedly.
When utilizing a programmable thermostat, the defining elements of success seems to be attitude and consistency. Occupants must be determined to save energy even when they are home and awake. The presets for occupied and unoccupied rooms need to be set and left.
If you have questions about programmable thermostats or other energy efficiency measures you can utilize in your home, please contact the energy experts at WFEC by calling 800-342-7400.