What Are the Average Savings After Installing a Programmable Thermostat?

You have probably heard that putting in a programmable thermostat can bring down your heating and cooling costs. While this is indeed true, you don’t immediately save just by swapping out your old manual thermostat for a programmable one. To make the most of your savings, you ought to select, set up and use a programmable thermostat effectively. 

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 routinely adjust the temperature 7 to 10 degrees from its normal setting for eight hours each day. For the average home, this amounts to around $180 per year. Check out these programmable thermostat tips to save the most on your heating and cooling bill. 

How to Find a Programmable Thermostat 

As you look at different thermostats, confirm the compatibility with your other equipment. For instance, radiant floor heating can call for a different type of thermostat than one developed for forced-air heating and cooling. 

Then, examine the scheduling functionality. Most programmable thermostats have four daily programs—Wake, Leave, Home and Sleep, or something comparable. Separate models offer varying levels of control throughout the week. Here are the four main options: 

  • 7-day programming allows a different schedule every day. This is ideal if your family’s schedule changes regularly. 
  • 5-1-1 programming offers a weekday schedule and separate Saturday/Sunday schedules. This is best 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 sticks to one schedule for the entire week. 

How to Set Up a Programmable Thermostat 

The capability to set up setback periods while you’re away or sleeping makes it easy to save energy with a programmable thermostat. Establish the settings you want at the start of the season. While you can select the times and temperatures that work best 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 get out of bed. 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 leaving for 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 resumes a comfortable temperature before you get home from work. This setting should be about 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 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 out on 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 are uncomfortable. Although, your energy usage will increase 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 enable temporary overrides without deleting the active setting. This is called the “temporary hold,” which only lasts until the next programmed time. The “permanent/vacation hold” is for when you leave town. This overrides the settings indefinitely. The thermostat won’t resume 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 just a degree or two. You should feel more comfortable after making this small adjustment while avoiding the energy waste of adjusting the temperature way up or down. 
  • Replace the batteries: Most programmable thermostats run on batteries to prevent the settings from being deleted during a power outage. Make a habit of changing the batteries annually at a time you can easily remember, like the new year or when the kids go back to school in the fall. 

Start Saving by Installing a Programmable Thermostat 

If you prefer to set it and forget it, choose Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for help selecting and installing a programmable thermostat. We can also share more info about Wi-Fi programmable thermostats, which offer 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 call your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.