If you’ve recently had a programmable thermostat installed, congratulations! It’s a great way to be more comfortable while saving money at the same time. Of course, in order to realize maximum savings on your heating bill, you’ve got to enter a program that works for you both in terms of being comfortable while you’re at home and awake, and saving money by lowering the heat while you’re away at work or in bed for the night. Here are the basics on how to do that:
Set It and Forget It
The secret to saving money with your programmable thermostat is to program it so that it’s at 68 degrees during the winter when you know you’ll be at home and awake, at 78 degrees during the summer when you’re at home. Then, set it 7 to 10 degrees below/above that during the hours when you’ll either be asleep or away from the home at work and/or school.
That’s it. By setting the program once, according to the temperatures noted (which are recommended by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Saver division), you’ll not only be ensuring that your home is comfortable while you’re at home and active, but you’ll also be “programming in” a savings of between 5 and 10 percent per year on your heating and cooling costs.
You Can Choose How Much Money You’ll Save
The temperatures listed above will provide maximum savings should you decide to follow the DOE’s recommendations. But remember, you’re in charge, so if you want to compromise by tweaking the temperatures a bit to be more comfortable, you’ll save a bit less.
Let’s say you choose to set your winter “at home” temperature to 70 degrees rather than 68 degrees, or that you prefer a temperature of 76 degrees rather than 78 during the summer. You’ll still save, but your savings will be on the lower end of the 5 to 10 percent savings spectrum. This is true as long as your adjustments for “away” and “asleep” temperatures comprise at least 8 hours of every day.
Simplify and Save
Having a programmable thermostat in the wintertime means that you no longer have to try to remember to turn the heat down before you leave the house in the morning. It also means that you’ll no longer have to come home — or wake up — to a house that’s too cold. And of course, the reverse applies to your summertime comfort. It’s a genius way to simplify your life, be more comfortable, and save money too!