Best Practices for Programmable Thermostats Result in Fewer Energy Dollars Spent

For many homeowners, the cost of heating and cooling can account for up to 40 percent of their energy costs. Rising energy costs have made it imperative to keep energy use to a minimum. A programmable thermostat is one way to do this. When programmed properly, these smart thermostats can cut your energy costs a great deal.

Here are some of the best practices for using programmable thermostats:

  • Know your schedule: Take a week or two and write down when your family does normal activities like going to bed, waking up, leaving the house and returning home. Your family most likely follows a predictable schedule, which will allow you to program your thermostat for the most savings possible.
  • Know your temperature comfort levels: During the winter, most experts recommend a 21-degree setting when at home and 19 degrees at night and when no one’s home. During the summer, if you have air conditioning, 25 degrees when home, 24 degrees at night and 27 degrees when you’re away will help cost savings. These temperatures might not be comfortable for you, however, use them as guidelines for maximum savings.
  • Set your thermostat based on your schedule: Using the instructions from the manufacturer to set your thermostat based on your comfort levels and your schedule. This may take a few minutes, but once done, you don’t have to worry about it again.
  • Use “hold” feature only temporarily: Every programmable thermostat has a hold feature. If you have a day off and the programmable thermostat goes into away mode, you can temporarily set the thermostat to the at-home temperature. Use the temporary feature instead of the permanent hold for maximum savings.
  • Combine using your thermostat with other energy saving practices: Using a programmable thermostat in combination with ceiling fans and the right clothing can make energy savings easier to take. Wear warm clothes in the winter and cool clothes in the summer to remain comfortable without turning the heating and cooling on.

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