February 3, 2017
About one-third of U.S. homes have a programmable thermostat (according to a recent study). Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to use them properly. Most still rely on manual thermostats or manual operation of their programmable ones.
A programmable thermostat allows you to pre-set the comfort conditions you need throughout the day. For example, you can set it to automatically turn down by 8 degrees every night before you go to bed.
A programmable thermostat, however, is only a tool. It doesn’t magically save you any money on heating or cooling. It takes strategic programming in order to save money. But a programmable thermostat will allow you to do that—if it is used.
Turning your thermostat back 10 degrees for an 8-hour period every day will save you a lot of money throughout the year. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “by turning their thermostat back 10° to 15° for 8 hours, the family can save 5% to 15% a year on their heating bill — a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.”
This translates to about $180 in savings every year. This assumes “a typical, single-family home with a 10-hour daytime setback of 8° F in winter and setup of 7° F in summer, and an 8-hour nighttime setback of 8° F in winter and a setup of 4° F in summer” (Energy Star).
Since all homes are different, you will probably experience more or less savings than the averages you see online. Regardless, thermostat setbacks definitely save you money, energy, and inconvenience. Some factors that make a huge difference in the savings you experience are:
Another major factor that determines your savings is the type of climate you live in. Savings tend to be higher for buildings in milder climates compared with more severe climates.
For maximum energy savings, set your thermostat using the guidelines provided below and forget it. Don’t micromanage your thermostat.
Here’s a suggested thermostat schedule to maximize your savings during the fall and winter months:
Remember, you can save around as “1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long” (U.S. DOE). You will also save on your refrigeration costs by reducing the load on an appliance that is working hard to stay cold. And if you are on a diet and trying to lose weight, lowering the temperature of you home helps shed the pounds by increasing your energy expenditure to stay warm.
Don’t turn off your heating or cooling completely. Instead, ensure you have the proper humidity control and temperature by setting the thermostat to no lower than 55°F in the winter and no higher than 90°F in the summer.
If you have any questions about how to properly program your thermostat for maximum savings, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We also install programmable and smart thermostats, like NEST. Contact Service Champions to make sure your thermostat is compatible with your heating and cooling system.
We’re here to help! If you have any comments or questions, we’d love to hear them.
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