The quick answer to whether programmable thermostats save energy is yes. Maximizing how much you save requires proper installation, set up and use. A good ratio to remember is that for every 1°F you turn down your thermostat, you’ll use 1% less energy.
ENERGY STAR estimates that homeowners properly using programmable thermostats can save about $180 a year. Since nearly half of your energy bills are made up of heating and cooling costs, having a programmable thermostat in your home would be a pretty smart move.
- When shopping for thermostats, check their compatibility with your system’s equipment and choose one that has the right scheduling options for you (e.g., do you need a variety of program schedules or will one or two suffice?).
- Find an installation spot on an interior wall away from heat/draft sources, such as vents, doorways and windows, and be sure not to block the unit with furniture. The thermostat should be easily accessible for programming.
- Ensure that your system is off (breaker, too!) during replacement and follow the installation instructions.
- Lowe’s offers step-by-step instructions and a two-minute video to walk you through the process.
- Consider hiring an HVAC professional for the installation if it’s not a simple replacement or you don’t feel comfortable doing the job yourself.
- Customize programs based on your household’s schedule, not the factory-installed settings.
- Outline the times when you’re awake, sleeping, leaving and returning home.
- When getting started, take a few days to adjust the program until it’s in sync with your needs/schedule.
- Check out ENERGY STAR’s setpoint times and temperatures recommendations as a guide to get you started.
- Use the energy-saving set-points for extended periods of time, such as when you’re at work, sleeping or traveling.
- Avoid large swings and constant changes in temperatures.
- Don’t consistently override your pre-programmed settings because you could end up using more energy.
- Reduce the heating or cooling 60 minutes before going to sleep at night, and increase it 30 minutes before you expect to wake up.
- Set your “hold” or “vacation” setting at a constant, efficient temperature whenever you’ll be away for more than two days.
- Change batteries yearly to avoid any interruptions to your program.
Now that you’ve learned how much you can save, and picked up some programming pointers, you’re probably ready for a programmable thermostat. We’ve put together an electricity plan that gives you one for free. Plus, you’ll be shrinking your carbon footprint by using 100% clean energy.
Our Pollution FreeTM with Google Nest Learning Thermostat plan lets you power your home with 100% clean wind energy and score a complimentary Google Nest Learning Thermostat and a Google Nest Temperature Sensor. You can save energy, live comfortably and help the environment. What are you waiting for?