How to Make the Most of Your Thermostat
When you are trying to save energy or cut down on the amount of energy your home uses, one easy way to start is by installing a programmable thermostat. While purchasing and installing a programmable thermostat can be easy, actually programming it so that you begin to see results can be a bit difficult, especially if you have no experience using a programmable thermostat. We can install one for you, 10% off during the month of February!
What is a Programmable Thermostat?
A programmable thermostat is designed to automatically adjust the temperatures in the home depending on what time of day it is. Essentially, you can program your thermostat to run less during the night when everyone is asleep and during the day when all family members are at work or at school. Because more energy is lost when the temperature differences in the home and out of the home are greater, turning the thermostat up or down when no one is home will reduce the amount of energy that is lost.
Figuring Out Your Family’s Schedule
Before you program your thermostat, you should no what schedule your family runs on. Depending on the make and model of programmable thermostat that you choose, you may be able to program week days and weekend days differently to reflect your family’s schedule. For example, you will need to know when your family members normally wake up, when they leave the home, when they normally return and when they usually head to bed.
Recommended Thermostat Settings
The U.S. Department of Energy suggests certain settings that can help you reduce energy consumption. When it comes to the winter months, it is recommended that the temperature be set at 68 degrees Fahrenheit when you are awake or when you are at home. When everyone is asleep or out of the home, the temperature should be lowered by 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. You do not want to lower the temperature more than this as the cost of reheating a very cold home twice a day can be high.
During the summer months, keeping the temperature higher will reduce energy waste. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that you set temperatures at 78 degrees Fahrenheit. The air conditioning should be programmed to shut off completely when you are asleep or when no one is home. When the days are just right and do not require any cooling, be sure to shut off your air conditioning unit manually. Depending on the make and model of thermostat that you use, you may need to turn it back on yourself or it may turn itself back on when the house becomes too warm again.
Keeping Your Home Comfortable
No one wants to wake up to a cold home, so you should program your thermostat to turn up the heat about 30 minutes before you or your family members plan to get out of bed. To compensate for turning up the heat a little bit early, you can always program the thermostat to turn the heat back down about 30 minutes or so before you intend to go to sleep. In fact, doing this may even encourage rowdy kids to get to bed, even when they tell you they are not tired.
While programmable thermostats can save energy and even reduce your utility bills by up to 15 percent, it is important that you follow through with using your programmable thermostat. If it is not used correctly, you can actually end up with poor results. If the device is used correctly, however, the benefits can potentially inspire you to find other ways to reduce the amount of energy your home consumes.