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My Programmable Thermostat – What Are The Ideal Settings?

thermostat settings to save money north pennsylvaniaWhat are the ideal settings for my programmable thermostat?

For many people – most, in fact – a thermostat is a box on the wall that you visit on cold nights, wrapped in a throw, to slam the “up” button on the temperature setting. But if that’s all you’re doing with your programmable thermostat, you’re missing the boat on a great opportunity to save 10 percent or more on your home heating bill.

It might be cold comfort to know this (pardon the pun), but at least you’re not alone in neglecting that magic box of heating goodness: according to a study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, nine out of ten Americans say they’ve rarely (or never) programmed their thermostat because they’re not sure how to do it. That’s a shame, considering how easy today’s thermostats – especially today’s Wi-Fi thermostats – are to program and operate.

If you don’t have one, installing a programmable thermostat is a smart move: if you use it correctly, it will pay for itself in the first year you own it.

But how do you use it correctly? Here are three steps for doing that.

Step 1: Determine what kind of programmable thermostat you have

If you already own a programmable thermostat, it’s helpful to know what kind of flexibility your model offers. Programmable thermostats feature different “modes”, depending on the model you own. Ranked in order here from most to least flexible, these modes include:

  • 7-day, which lets you program a different schedule for each day of the week;
  • 5-1-1, which allows one schedule for the week, plus one each for Saturday and Sunday;
  • 5-2, which lets you program one schedule for the week and one for the weekend; and
  • 1-week, which enables one schedule for the week.

If you have a smart thermostat, you can program these modes (and other thermostat features) from your smartphone.

Step 2: Customize your thermostat to your lifestyle

No matter which of these options you own, you will want to customize your thermostat so it works with your family in your home. The settings you can control on just about any type of programmable thermostats include:

  • Wake time
  • Sleep time
  • Leave time
  • Return time

Each thermostat operates a little differently, so you will want to spend a little time consulting your owner’s manual to adjust these settings; considering the money savings, we would say it’s time well spent. if you’re having trouble with your thermostat, contact us – we’re here to help.

Step 3: Use temperatures that balance energy savings and comfort

The U.S Department of Energy recommends the following settings for the best balance of comfort and savings:

Heating season:

  • When you’re home and awake, set the thermostat for 68°F.
  • Lower temperatures by 10° for the hours you’re asleep or out of the house.

Cooling season:

  • When you’re home and awake, program air conditioning to 78°F.
  • Program the AC to shut off during the hours you’re out of the house.

In general,

  • Program heat or A/C to shut off 20-30 minutes before you leave home; return them to normal comfort levels 20 to 30 minutes before you come home.
  • Program reductions in heating or cooling to begin 60 minutes before you go to sleep; return them to normal comfort levels 30 minutes before you awaken.

Save 10 percent on your annual energy bill without sacrificing comfort when you install a programmable thermostat and use it correctly! Contact us today to learn more about programmable thermostat installations in Montgomery County and Bucks County, PA.

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