What Are the Average Savings After Installing a Programmable Thermostat?

You have probably heard that having a programmable thermostat can reduce your heating and cooling costs. While this is indeed true, you don’t automatically save just by exchanging your old manual thermostat for a programmable one. To optimize your savings, you ought to select, set up and use a programmable thermostat to the fullest. 

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), homeowners could save up to 10% on heating and cooling costs with the help of a programmable thermostat to consistently adjust 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. Check out these programmable thermostat tips to save the most on your heating and cooling costs. 

How to Secure a Programmable Thermostat 

As you look at different thermostats, confirm the compatibility with the rest of your HVAC system. For example, radiant floor heating may necessitate a different type of thermostat than one designed for forced-air heating and cooling. 

Then, evaluate the scheduling controls. Most programmable thermostats have four daily programs—Wake, Leave, Home and Sleep, or something similar. Different models offer dynamic levels of control throughout the week. Here are the four principal options: 

  • 7-day programming allows for a different schedule every day. This is perfect 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 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 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 easy to save energy with a programmable thermostat. Finalize 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 look: 

  • Wake at 7:00 am: The thermostat achieves a comfortable temperature in time for you to start your day. 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 leaving for work. This setting should be around 58 degrees during the winter and 88 degrees over the summer. 
  • Home at 5:30 pm: The automatic recovery period 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 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 losing out on comfort. Follow these tips to get the most from your upgrade: 

  • Avoid overriding programmed settings: You can always override the current temperature if you feel uncomfortable. However, your energy usage will go up if you constantly change the settings. Don an extra layer in the winter or grab a fan in the summer before adjusting the thermostat. 
  • Use the correct hold feature: All programmable thermostats allow temporary overrides without deleting the current setting. This is known as the “temporary hold,” which only persists until the next programmed time. The “permanent/vacation hold” is for when you are out of town. This overrides the settings indefinitely. The thermostat won’t go back to your regular schedule until you personally disable the hold. 
  • Don’t make drastic temperature changes: When you must override a setting, adjust 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. 
  • Change the batteries: Most programmable thermostats need batteries to prevent the settings from being deleted after a power outage. Make a habit of replacing the batteries annually 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 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 tell you about Wi-Fi programmable thermostats, which come with even more benefits such as 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.