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Posted: January 30, 2023 by Hey Neighbor
You've probably heard that a programmable thermostat will lower your heating and cooling bills. While this is undoubtedly true, you won't instantly save just by swapping out that old manual thermostat model for a programmable one. To maximize your savings, it's essential to select, set up, and use a programmable thermostat correctly.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says that homeowners can save up to 10% on their heating and cooling costs by adjusting the temperature between 7-10°F from its usual setting for eight hours every day. For the average home, this means you'll save up to $180 per year! Follow these handy programmable thermostat tips to save the most on your energy bill.
As you compare thermostats, a good place to start is to confirm the model's compatibility with your other HVAC equipment. For example, a heat pump may require a different type of thermostat than one intended for a conventional forced-air system.
Then, examine the unit's scheduling functionality. Most programmable thermostats have four daily programs, usually labeled as Wake, Leave, Return, and Sleep. In addition, several dynamic levels of control are available. Here are the four primary options:
5-2 programming means you can set one program for weekdays (5) and the weekend (2). This type combines ease of use with the flexibility of split scheduling.
5-1-1 programming lets you set a weekday schedule and one each for Saturday and Sunday. This is a good choice if your routine stays the same Monday through Friday but is different each weekend day.
7-day programming allows a different schedule every day of the week. If your schedule changes nearly every day, or you simply want maximum control over each day's thermostat settings, this is the type for you.
1-week programming uses one schedule for the entire week. If you're a retiree or you rarely leave home for any significant amount of time, this model's ease of use is perfect for your living situation.
The ability to schedule set periods while you're away or sleeping makes saving energy with a programmable thermostat simple. A smart way to do this is to decide what settings you want at the beginning of the heating and cooling seasons - that is, twice a year. A little time spent to determine the temperatures and times that work best for your family's needs will be well-rewarded in comfort and energy savings! Here's a typical weekday schedule to get you started:
Wake at 6:00 am. The thermostat tells your system to reach a comfortable temperature in time for your morning coffee. The DOE recommends 68°F during the winter and 76°F in the summer.
Leave at 8:30 am. The thermostat adjusts the temperature back 10 degrees when you head to work. This setting should be approximately 64°F in the winter and 80°F in the summer.
Return at 5:30 pm. The thermostat resumes a comfortable temperature when you get home from work. As with the Wake setting above, this setting should be approximately 68°F in the winter and 76°F during the summer.
Sleep at 11:00 pm. The thermostat sets your home's overnight temperature, so your system runs less often. This setting should be about 64°F in the winter and 80°F during the summer.
While the recommended temperatures above will minimize your HVAC system's operating time - saving energy usage and saving you money - perhaps the best benefit of a programmable thermostat is that you'll save money without sacrificing comfort. Try these tips to get the most from your upgrade:
Avoid overriding the programmed settings. While you can always override the current temperature if you're uncomfortable, your energy bill will go up if you regularly change the settings. Instead, put on an extra layer of clothing in the winter or turn on a fan in the summer before you fiddle with the thermostat.
Use the hold feature correctly. Virtually every programmable thermostat allows a temporary override without deleting the active setting. This is called the Hold feature, which only lasts until the next programmed event. Note that this differs from the "permanent/vacation hold" feature, which is for when you are out of town. It overrides the settings until you return. The thermostat won't go back to your regularly programmed schedule until you manually clear the hold.
Don't make extreme temperature changes. When you need to override a setting, it's wise to change the thermostat by a few degrees at most. You should feel plenty comfortable after making a slight adjustment, and you won't waste energy by cranking the temperature way up or down.
Change the batteries. Most programmable thermostats use batteries to prevent the settings from being deleted due to a power outage. Replacing your thermostat batteries is a simple task, but one that's easily forgotten. To jog your memory, set a recurring reminder in your smartphone's Calendar app once a year, such as the new year or when the kids head back to school in the fall.
If you prefer to set it and forget it - and who doesn't? - choose Hey Neighbor Heating & Cooling for help selecting and installing a programmable thermostat. We can also provide details about more advanced thermostats, such as "smart" models, which come with even more benefits, such as routine learning capabilities, remote temperature control, motion sensors, energy reports, and more. For additional information or to schedule a visit with one of our friendly Comfort Consultants, contact Hey Neighbor Heating & Cooling today.
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We're committed to providing fast friendly emergency service 24 hours a day 7 days a week for residential heating and air conditioning systems in Wooster, Millersburg and the surrounding areas.
Our 24-hour emergency on-call service means you'll never have to go through another cold winter night or a hot, humid summer day. We service residents of Wayne and Holmes counties with no after-hours or overtime fees, so you'll never have to worry about paying extra because your furnace or air conditioner decided it wanted to quit on the weekend or a holiday!
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We'll keep your Wayne County furnace running smoothly, and we service gas and electric heaters, heat pumps, ductless mini-split systems and more. Our local, licensed, friendly HVAC technicians drive fully-stocked service vans so when we troubleshoot your Holmes County HVAC system and find a faulty part, we can replace it right then! Whatever you need in the area of heating and cooling repair in Wooster, Millersburg, and the surrounding areas, we've got you covered!
The right system for your home
Whether you're a homeowner in Rittman who's in the market for a new, high-efficiency furnace, a mobile home owner in Shreve who's tired of baking in the summertime or you're a property manager in Dalton looking to replace old, temperamental air conditioning systems in apartments with new reliable units, our experience enables us to quickly and accurately assess your HVAC needs. You'll get the new furnace install and central air conditioning upgrade that's right for you.
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While we don't mind visiting your home for a dead-of-winter breakdown (it's what we do), we want to help you avoid that unfortunate situation altogether. That's why we offer affordable Wayne and Holmes County seasonal HVAC maintenance to reduce the future need for heating and cooling repairs. Our thorough inspections catch little problems before they become big ones. An annual HVAC tune-up by one of our expert techs saves you money, time, and stress!
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