If you still have an outdated manual thermostat in your home, it’s certainly worth looking into the benefits of programmable thermostats. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, simply by setting back temperatures for eight hours a day (such as when you’re sleeping or away at work) you can save you up to 10 percent on your heating and cooling bills. You can schedule automatic times for this setback with a programmable thermostat so you never sacrifice comfort to enjoy energy savings.
There are several things to look for when selecting the ideal unit for your home from among dozens of programmable thermostats. Here’s a look at three of them:
- Make sure the unit is compatible. Product packaging makes it easy to find a thermostat that will suit your existing system. You simply need to be familiar with a few characteristics of your heating and cooling equipment. For example, do you have standard one-stage heat or more advanced two-stage heat? Do you have direct line voltage? Is your home fitted with zoned heating and cooling? Your new thermostat needs to be compatible with features like these if your system has them.
- Choose programming options. Keep your eye out for programmable thermostats that allow you to program the number of setbacks needed for your schedule and lifestyle. You can purchase programmable thermostats that come with the settings typically desired in the average home. You can, of course, make changes to these default settings to suit your needs precisely. Choose from various levels of flexible programming, including 1-week, 5-2 (weekdays and weekends), 5-1-1 (weekdays, Saturday, and Sunday) and 7-day programming.
- Select advanced features. Basic controls are enough for you to get by, but there are various advanced options that enhance your experience. Choose features you think you’ll need the most such as touch screen controls, backlit display, locking keypad, indicator lights, battery backup and vacation mode.
Using Temperature Zones
Why heat or cool the whole house when there are only people in one room? Run temperature control just in the rooms you are using. If kids are at school all day but Mom or Dad works from a home office, you can focus just on comfortable temperatures in the office, kitchen, or other rooms used the most. Then turn up the AC when everyone is back at home.
Temperature zones are also super helpful in:
- Multistory houses
- Homes built partially over concrete slab
- Houses with rooms with lots of windows
- Houses with a rambling, spread-out floor plan
By using a series of thermostats and dampers, every room in the house can be kept comfortable without blowing up your power bill.
"What Temperature Should I Set My Thermostat?"
When it comes to the perfect temperature, everyone has their own groove. Some people like it warmer, while others want to keep things cool. The further your indoor thermostat settings are from outdoor ones, the harder your home’s HVAC system has to work. Aim for around 68 degrees in the winter and 78 in the summer for the best comfort and lower bills.
In general, keep things cooler at night. This makes for easier sleeping while working with cooler night-time temperatures instead of against them. You can also lower the A/C or heat when no one is at home.
Energy Efficiency Tips for Programmable Thermostats
Programmable thermostats offer many benefits to homeowners in North Carolina. However, just the presence of a programmable thermostat will not save money on its own. Programming your thermostat for maximum energy efficiency will provide the greatest long-term savings.
Before installing a programmable thermostat, choose the thermostat with settings that fit your schedule. Thermostats typically come in 7-day models, 5+1+1-day models and 5+2-day models. If your schedule changes daily, choose a 7-day model. For a set schedule during weekdays and on weekends, choose a 5+2 model. For different settings on weekdays and Saturdays and Sundays, choose a 5+1+1 model.
For maximum energy savings, use the following guide when programming your thermostat:
- Set the heat temperature at least 8-10 degrees lower during the day when you are away at work or school. Program the cooler temperature to last for at least eight hours.
- Set the warmer temperature to start just before you get home from school or work. If you use a whole-house humidifier in conjunction with a programmable thermostat, you can save even more energy because humid air feels warmer to the body.
- Set the heat temperature 8-10 degrees cooler at night. Start cooling the home right at bedtime. Program the night temperature to remain for 8-10 hours. Program the thermostat to warm the house just before you wake up.
- Set the weekend settings based on your weekend schedule. Ensure the cooler settings remain for at least eight hours.
- Use the vacation or “hold” feature while away from home. This will prevent energy waste, and will return the temperature to a comfortable level just before you arrive so you return to a warm house.
- Replace the batteries in the thermostat once a year. This will ensure the programs come on at the specified times.
If you want additional help selecting the ideal programmable thermostat for your home, feel free to contact us at Blanton’s Air, Plumbing & Electric. We serve residents of Fayetteville and the surrounding cities!