Have you ever arrived home to realize that you forgot to turn the heat or air off before you left for work? The house is warm and toasty or cool and comfortable. But you cringe at the thought of your next bill. On the other hand, if you do remember to turn off the system, your home is often either too cool or too warm when you get home.
Here’s where a programmable thermostat comes in. Programmable thermostats let you preset your home’s temperature adjustments according to your family’s daily or weekly schedule. For instance, you can program it to set back the temperature shortly after you leave for work every day and to return your home to a comfortable level shortly before you usually arrive home.
The results are significant: Families can cut their annual heating and cooling bills by one-tenth just by setting back their thermostat 10 percent to 15 percent for eight hours a day, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Savers program.
Some tips for getting the most out of a programmable thermostat:
- Use it to save money at night, too, by setting back the temperature when everyone’s sleeping and returning to a comfortable temperature just before everyone wakes up. A typical family’s thermostat might be set like this during weekdays in the summer: 75 degrees from 6:30 to 9 a.m.; 80 degrees from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; 75 degrees from 5 to 11 p.m.; and back to 80 degrees from 11 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.
- Once you find a comfortable temperature, experiment by going 1 or 2 degrees above or below. Maybe your family is comfortable at night at 82 degrees. Each degree makes a difference on your utility bill.
- Programmable thermostats should be installed out of direct sunlight and away from drafts — away from anything that might give it a false temperature reading.
Not all programmable thermostats work with all systems. Ask a certified heating and cooling contractor to help you find one that works for you. Contact AC Pro today to get started. Serving the Southern California and Nevada areas, we’re always happy to help.
Our goal is to help inform our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about programmable thermostats and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Programmable thermostat image via Shutterstock