What Are the Average Savings After Installing a Programmable Thermostat?

You have likely heard that installing a programmable thermostat can reduce 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 make the most of your savings, you must select, set up and use a programmable thermostat properly.

As reported 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 set back the temperature 7 to 10 degrees from its normal setting for eight hours every 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 bills.

How to Find a Programmable Thermostat

As you compare thermostats, verify the compatibility with the rest of your HVAC system. As an example, radiant floor heating can call for a different type of thermostat than one created 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 dynamic levels of control during the week. Here are the four principal options:

    • 7-day programming allows a different schedule on a daily basis. This is perfect if your family’s schedule changes regularly.
    • 5-1-1 programming creates a weekday schedule and separate Saturday/Sunday schedules. This is best if your routine is about the same Monday through Friday but unique 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 program setback periods while you’re away or sleeping makes it simpler to save energy with a programmable thermostat. Finalize the settings you want at the start of the season. While you can choose the times and temperatures that are best for your family’s needs, here’s how the average weekday schedule might look:

    • Wake at 7:00 am: The thermostat achieves a comfortable temperature in time for you to wake up. The DOE recommends 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer.
    • Leave at 8:00 am: Instruct the thermostat to set the temperature back 10 degrees about 30 minutes before leaving for work. This setting should be about 58 degrees during the winter and 88 degrees for the summer.
    • Home at 5:30 pm: The automatic recovery function resumes a comfortable temperature before you are home for the day. This setting should be approximately 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees during the summer.
    • Sleep at 10:30 pm: Program the thermostat to the nighttime temperature about 30 minutes before bed. This nighttime setting should be around 65 degrees in the winter and 80 degrees during 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. Follow these tips to get the most from your upgrade:

    • Avoid overriding programmed settings: You can always override the current temperature if you are really uncomfortable. That said, your energy usage will go up if you regularly change the settings. Don 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 can create temporary overrides without deleting the active 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 town. This overrides the settings indefinitely. The thermostat won’t resume your regular schedule until you manually clear 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 slight adjustment while avoiding the energy waste of turning the temperature way up or down.
    • Replace the batteries: Most programmable thermostats run on batteries to stop the settings from being deleted after a power outage. Make a habit of changing the batteries yearly 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 want to set it and forget it, call 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 come with even more benefits like 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 Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.