A programmable thermostat can save lots of energy provided you use it correctly.
If you are interested in improving the energy efficiency in your home without having to constantly make tedious manual adjustments to your thermostat, you should definitely look into upgrading to a programmable thermostat.
Choosing Your Programmable Thermostat
When choosing your programmable thermostat, you want to make sure you find an option that suits your needs and is easy and convenient to use. Consider the following factors:
- Scheduling Style: On the low end of the price scale, you find programmable thermostats that only allow for one schedule, which will then be used every day of the week. For a bit more of an initial investment, you can get options that allow a different schedule for weekdays and weekends, or even a different schedule for each day of the week plus vacation mode options.
- Smart Features: Some programmable thermostats can be controlled remotely from your computer or smartphone for maximum convenience. Some can even learn your schedule and habits on their own and respond to your movements using motion sensor technology.
- Compatibility: Naturally you want to be sure your thermostat will be compatible with your HVAC equipment. With some brands, you will not reap the maximum benefit unless you buy that brand’s thermostat.
Using Your Programmable Thermostat
Depending on the type of product you’ve purchased, you may be able to create highly detailed schedules for precision control of your heating and cooling. But you may also be at a loss of where to start. After all, you want to not only consider your own comfort but also what temperatures are considered ideal for optimum energy efficiency. Here are some tips to get you started.
Goal Temperatures for Summer and Winter
As a baseline, the US Department of Energy recommends setting your heat to 68 when you’re home and awake and 53 to 58 when you’re asleep or out. For the summer, they recommend setting your air conditioner to 78 while you’re home and turning it off when you go out. They promise this can save up to 15 percent on your energy bills compared to always maintaining constant temperatures.
Sample Thermostat Schedule
When it comes to tailoring your thermostat schedule to your daily routine, start by:
- Programming the heat or AC to turn up 30 minutes before you wake up in the morning
- Programming the heat or AC to turn off 20 minutes before you leave for work
- Programming the heat or AC to turn back on 30 minutes before you arrive home
- Programming the heat or AC to turn down 60 minutes before you go to bed.