Need to replace your old thermostat? A programmable thermostat is worth considering. It can help you save energy and money on your heating and cooling bills without sacrificing your comfort. Some home energy audits offer programmable thermostat installation at a low price, or for free!
How Does It Work?
A programmable thermostat allows you to pre-set the times and temperatures you want your heating or cooling system to turn on. For example, during the winter, you can program your thermostat to turn down the temperature setting at night, when you’re asleep, or when you’re at work. It can also automatically turn back up to a more comfortable temperature when you wake up or come home from work. It also allows you to override settings if you wish to change the temperature temporarily.
This ability to set temperatures for multiple times of day allows you to have heat when you most needed it, and to save energy and money when you’re not using it. The hardest part about operating a programmable thermostat is getting over the initial learning curve. After you have mastered the technology, it’s very easy to use.
How to Install Properly
- Install on an interior wall. Avoid placing it near sources of heat and drafts such as the heating and cooling vents, doorways, windows, bright lamps, and direct sunlight.
- Turn off your electricity. Even though programmable thermostats are a low voltage wiring installation, you should shut down your electricity as a precautionary measure.
- Carefully follow the instructions! Although thermostats are generally easy to install, read the instructions first. It usually involves connecting 2 to 10 wires to previous attachments.
- Call a professional. For more complex installations, contact a certified HVAC contractor in your area!
Tips on Programming
There are two important factors to consider when presetting your thermostat: energy efficiency and comfort. First, know your schedule. Consider the number of hours and days you work each week. Also, coordinate with your family or housemates on a time and temperature setting for weekdays and weekends. If you’re going on a short trip or vacation, make sure you override your normal settings and shut down your system until you get back. Also since temperatures vary from day to day; don’t hesitate to override your settings accordingly!
What temperature should you set your thermostat to in order to maximize energy-efficiency without compromising comfort? During the winter, try setting your thermostat to 68°F when you’re home and 60°F when you’re away or asleep. If you live in a cold area, do not set your thermostat below 50°F or your water pipes may freeze. In the summer, consider setting the temperature to 78°F when you’re home and 85°F or higher when you’re not home. Some easy measures such as closing the curtains and blinds can also lower your indoor temperature.
While saving energy and money is a great thing, it’s important to make sure that everyone is comfortable living in their own home.