A programmable thermostat isn’t much better than your old manual thermostat if you’re not using or programming it correctly. The difference between proper operation and improper operation can be hundreds of dollars in energy savings every year. Find out how you can program your programmable thermostat for maximum energy savings.
How It Saves Energy
First, it helps to understand how a programmable thermostat saves energy in a typical home. It’s fairly simple – anything that improves your ability to reduce heating and cooling system operation when nobody’s home will save energy. The same goes when everybody’s sleeping and can tolerate cooler temperatures in the winter. A thermostat that can be programmed for energy-saving setbacks to match your schedule is a big improvement over relying on your memory and diligence in constantly adjusting and readjusting a manual thermostat.
Guidelines for Operation
- When programming setbacks for when the house is empty or everybody’s sleeping, make sure they last for at least eight hours. This maximizes potential energy savings. Also, make sure the setbacks are significant enough to translate into meaningful savings – eight to 12 degrees works for most homes.
- Avoid using the override feature. Each time you nullify setbacks, you instantly stop the energy savings. It’s the same as trying to save money when you’re constantly making exceptions and buying items that you don’t really need.
- When you’re planning to be gone more than a few days, set your thermostat to vacation programming mode. This will keep the temperature at an energy-saving level throughout your time away. This is useful during winter and summer when extreme indoor temperatures might damage household belongings or fixtures.
- If your programmable thermostat is battery-powered, be sure to check the batteries monthly to ensure they don’t run out of juice on the hottest or coldest day the year.
- This isn’t necessarily a guideline for programmable thermostats but it bears remembering anyway. If it’s mild outside, it’s okay to just turn off the HVAC system and open the windows.
To discuss installing a programmable thermostat in your northwest Arkansas home, contact us at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas 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.
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