If you are still using one of the older-style mercury dial thermostats in your home, or even if you have a simple digital model, you might be surprised to learn just how much money you can save by installing a digital programmable thermostat in your home. Here are some tips and tricks for doing just that.
Myth vs. Reality
To many people in Florida, it makes sense to turn the thermostat up during the summer – or even to shut the AC unit off completely – while they are away from their homes to go to work during the day. They believe that since the unit is not running at all, they will save money on their cooling bills. However, this can actually do the opposite and drive cooling bills up. Think about it this way: when your air conditioner turned off or your thermostat is set to a very high temperature, heat collects in your home. When you return home, the unit must work extra hard to remove all of the heat that has gathered during the day. What’s more, you’ll find yourself sweating after you get home until that temperature comes down.
Properly Setting a Programmable Thermostat
As you’ve likely heard, it is always a good idea to raise the temperature on your thermostat when you will not be home or during the night while you are asleep. However, as described above, you will want to avoid drastic changes in temperature. If you generally keep your thermostat set to a comfortable 74 degrees while you are awake and in your home, you might consider setting it to 80 degrees while you are away or while you are in bed at night and using a fan instead if you tend to overheat. This way, your air conditioner cycles off and on less often, but the increase in temperature isn’t so great that your unit has to work extra hard to bring the temperature back to comfortable again.
Although you can manually set your thermostat before you climb into bed and after waking up, or before leaving for work and after arriving home, it is often more convenient to purchase a programmable thermostat (less than $30 for many models) that will allow you to program these events in advance. You can schedule your air conditioner to raise the temperature up to 80 upon leaving the house and then schedule it to cool back down to 74 about 30 minutes before you arrive home. What’s more, you can even schedule the same temperature increase for an hour after you’ve gone to bed and 30 minutes before you wake up. This means that you’re saving money with increased temperature settings – and you’ll never even know the difference!
If you need help with choosing, installing, or even programming a digital thermostat, be sure to contact AND Services for assistance. Not only can our technicians help you with all of your thermostat needs, but our preventative maintenance and system checkup can identify potential problems that may be adding to your cooling budget.