Programmable Thermostats Save Energy

closeup view of all features on a digital thermostat

Programmable thermostats are one of the newest innovations in HVAC equipment.  Many homeowners feel intimidated by the thought of “programming” a thermostat, but the devices are easy to use and save you money.  The technicians of And Services share some inside tips on using a programmable thermostat.

How Does a Programmable Thermostat Save Me Money?

Programmable thermostats save you money year-round.  After the thermostat is programmed according to your personal preferences, it automatically turns on your air conditioning and heating system.  You realize a cost savings by setting up to six temperature settings for various times of the day.  You may want to set different temperatures for

  • Mornings when you wake up
  • When you are at work
  • When you arrive home
  • Weekends when you are mostly home
  • Nighttime while you sleep

By putting your thermostat in charge of managing the various temperature needs of your family, you can simply enjoy the perfect temperature anytime without having to remember to change the setting.

Department of Energy Recommendations

The Department of Energy has developed recommendations for homeowners to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures while reducing energy consumption.  The recommended summertime temperature is 78° while you are at home.  When you go to work, the programmable thermostat can be set 10° to 15° warmer.  By doing this, you can save up to 1% on your electric bill for every degree of temperature change over an eight hour period.  The recommended wintertime setting is 68°.  Your programmable thermostat will adjust the temperature when you are away from home, giving you year-round savings!

Does Constantly Changing My Indoor Temperature Setting Use More Energy?

Lowering and raising your thermostat setting throughout the day may seem like a way to use more energy, but the process of heat exchange is why your energy use is actually lower.  In the summertime when you raise the thermostat setting to a higher temperature, the air inside your home is warmer.  The warm air is closer to the outdoor temperature.  As a result, heat exchange occurs much slower and returning to a comfortable temperature does not require more energy.  The same is true during the winter.  As the temperature indoors drops, heat exchange happens much more slowly, so your heating system can restore the comfortable temperature without increasing your energy consumption.

What Else Should I Know About Programmable Thermostats?

Programmable thermostats may not work in every home, especially homes with

  • Radiant heating in the floor
  • Heat pumps
  • Steam heat
  • Electric resistance heating

Your And Services technician will determine if a programmable thermostat will work with your specific HVAC system and if needed, recommend alternative ways to reduce your energy costs.

Our technicians also help you choose the right programmable thermostat for your home, such as an electromechanical, digital or combination thermostat.  Digital thermostats tend to be the most robust option with many features, and our technician will help you set up and program the thermostat after installation.

We may determine that your thermostat is not mounted in an appropriate location in your home, and this can affect operation and energy consumption.  The thermostat should not be mounted near any heat sources, such as windows, skylights, heat-generating appliances, doorways and other places where drafts occur.  We may also recommend that you rearrange your furniture to be located away from the thermostat, as this can interfere with the air flow that is needed for an accurate air temperature reading.

Contact us to learn more about our programmable thermostats.