Want to make a change that can quickly lower your home heating and cooling costs? Consider installing a programmable or self-programming thermostat.
According to ENERGY STAR, a homeowner can save as much as 10% a year in heating and cooling costs by turning back thermostats seven to 10 degrees Fahrenheit for eight hours a day. You can do this by hand, of course. But you can likely achieve greater savings using a programmable thermostat, because programmable thermostats can store multiple temperature settings for any given day. That means you can fine-tune the temperature in your house practically by the hour. According to ENERGY STAR, this can help homeowners achieve programmable thermostat savings of about $180 annually.
Before we look at the programmable thermostat savings, it’s important to understand the different types.
Consumer Reports describes the benefits of programmable thermostat varieties this way:
Homeowners who want to achieve maximum programmable thermostat savings, however, might consider investing in a smart- or self-programming thermostat. Programmable communicating thermostats (aka “smart” thermostats) are connected to a home’s WiFi. These programmable communicating thermostats allow homeowners to make changes to the temperature settings from afar. Let’s say, for instance, you’re on vacation and a sudden cold front sweeps through your hometown. You’re concerned that the pipes might burst because the house is too cold. All you’ve got to do is use your mobile phone or computer to go online and adjust your setting. Peace of mind, guaranteed. Another point to consider when deciding between a smart vs. programmable thermostat is that the smart model, connected to your WiFi, can receive manufacturer upgrades automatically, and the homeowner doesn’t need to do a thing.
This takes self-programming thermostat technology up a notch. These thermostats have sensors that enable them to monitor motion, light and humidity. Being able to do this allows a self-programming thermostat to learn a homeowner’s habits and program itself accordingly. A self-programming thermostat is more expensive to purchase, and requires a WiFi connection, but it can go a long way towards saving money in the long run.
The chart below shows how you might set up a programmable thermostat for both heating and cooling.
The potential benefits of programmable thermostats depend to some extent on lifestyle, but here are some ways to find programmable thermostat savings opportunities:
You won’t realize the potential benefits of programmable thermostats, however, if you don’t pay attention to thermostat location. Where you place a thermostat is critical to achieving maximum programmable thermostat savings. Placing a thermostat too close to a heat source, for instance, will likely make your heating less efficient.
With that in mind, experts advise keeping your thermostat location away from the following:
The ideal thermostat location is an interior wall away from these spots, ideally near the center of the house. When considering your thermostat location, it’s also smart to keep in mind which rooms people use most since these are the rooms where you want the temperature to be the most comfortable.
In addition to proper thermostat location, ENERGY STAR recommends the following guidelines for optimal programmable thermostat savings.
If you haven’t put a lot of thought into how you control the temperature in your home, perhaps now is the time to look at the benefits of a smart thermostat. You might be doing just fine with a “regular” wall unit, but you might be able to cross one thing off your daily to-do