Programmable Thermostat FAQs

Q: What are the advantages of a programmable thermostat?

A: Not only are programmable thermostats more accurate and efficient than mercury-based thermostats, they also allow you to control the temperature in your home without ever touching the thermostat. Basically, if there are set times when your home is unoccupied every day, the thermostat will automatically set itself for a more efficient temperature during those times, allowing you to save money without ever thinking about it.

Q: At what temperature should I set my thermostat?

A: The most efficient temperature to set your thermostat during the summer is 78 – 80 F, and in the winter is 70 – 72 F. Whatever you choose to set your thermostat to, try to avoid drastic changes in temperature (more than 10 degrees). Anything more than that and your HVAC system will have to work harder to get the temperature right.

Q: Can I really save money with a programmable thermostat?

A: Yes! Experts say turning your thermostat back by 10 percent for eight hours a day can save you as much as 10 percent on your heating and cooling bills. Remember, you can set the thermostat to do this automatically for big savings! As with anything, the amount of money you save with your programmable thermostat depends on how you use it. Basically, the more you set the thermostat to adjust the temperature above or below your standard setting, the more you’ll save. Adjusting the temperature just a couple of degrees while you’re sleeping will save you money, but the best is when your home is unoccupied during the day. In fact, a basic programmable thermostat will pay for itself within the first year under the best circumstances and easily within two to three years in circumstances where the adjustments are minimal.

Q: How should I use my programmable thermostat?

A: The best thing to do is find the most efficient temperature you’re comfortable with and use that as your main setting, then set the temperature to 10 percent higher or cooler (depending on the season) during set times when the house will not be occupied. If you want the house cooled down by the time you get home, program the thermostat to cool the house approximately one hour before you usually arrive home. Remember, a programmable thermostat may cost a little more than a standard thermostat, but it can save you money all year long, in all seasons.

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