What Are the Average Savings After Installing a Programmable Thermostat?

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

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

How to Secure a Programmable Thermostat 

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

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

  • 7-day programming allows for a different schedule every day. This is ideal if your family’s schedule varies regularly. 
  • 5-1-1 programming generates a weekday schedule and separate Saturday/Sunday schedules. This is best if your routine is consistent Monday through Friday but distinct on Saturday and Sunday. 
  • 5-2 programming lets you set separate weekday and weekend schedules. 
  • 1-week programming creates one schedule for the whole week. 

How to Set Up a Programmable Thermostat 

The ability to schedule setback periods while you’re out of the house or sleeping makes it easier to save energy with a programmable thermostat. Finalize the settings you prefer at the start of the season. While you can choose the times and temperatures that are ideal for your family’s preferences, here’s how the average weekday schedule might look: 

  • Wake at 7:00 am: The thermostat reaches a comfortable temperature in time for you to start your day. The DOE suggests 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees for the summer. 
  • Leave at 8:00 am: Program the thermostat to adjust the temperature back 10 degrees around 30 minutes before heading into work. This setting should be around 58 degrees in the winter and 88 degrees in the summer. 
  • Home at 5:30 pm: The automatic recovery function provides 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 for 30 minutes before bed. This nighttime setting should be set to 65 degrees in the winter and 80 degrees in the summer. 

Getting Maximum Savings from a Programmable Thermostat 

The best aspect of a programmable thermostat is that you can save energy without losing out on comfort. Check out these tips to get the most from your upgrade: 

  • Avoid overriding programmed settings: You can always override the set temperature if you feel uncomfortable. That said, your energy usage will increase if you constantly change the settings. Add an extra layer in the winter or grab a fan in the summer before changing the thermostat. 
  • Use the correct hold feature: All programmable thermostats can create temporary overrides without deleting the existing setting. This is referred to as a “temporary hold,” which only continues until the next programmed time. The “permanent/vacation hold” is for when you leave town. This overrides the settings indefinitely. The thermostat won’t go back to your regular schedule until you personally remove the hold. 
  • Don’t make large temperature changes: When you must override a setting, adjust the thermostat by only a degree or two. You should feel more comfortable after making this minor adjustment while avoiding the energy waste of cranking the temperature way up or down. 
  • Change the batteries: Most programmable thermostats run on batteries to prevent the settings from being deleted during a power outage. Make a habit of replacing the batteries yearly at a time you can easily remember, like the new year or when the kids return to school in the fall. 

Start Saving by Installing a Programmable Thermostat 

If you’re ready to set it and forget it, turn to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for help finding and installing a programmable thermostat. We can also share more info about Wi-Fi programmable thermostats, which are designed with even more benefits like remote temperature control, learning capabilities, motion sensors, auto-generated energy reports and more. For more information or to request a free thermostat assessment, please contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.