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Saving Money with a Digital Thermostat

Let’s face it, digital thermostats can be intimidating.  

But, used properly, they can save you lots of money!

Are you wondering how can a digital thermostat save you money?  It’s all in the way you program them.  The basic principle is to lower or raise the temperature of your house during the times you aren’t home.  

Digital thermostats offer lots of features in terms of multiple setback settings, overrides, and adjustments for daylight savings time.  In order to save money with a digital thermostat you need to take advantage of these features.  When programming your thermostat, consider when you normally go to sleep and wake up.  Also, think about the schedules of everyone in the household. If there is a time during the day when the house is unoccupied for four hours or more, if so it makes sense to adjust the temperature during those periods.  

Some general rules for the timing of your thermostat program are:

  • Reduce the heat or air conditioning 20 to 30 minutes before you leave home
  • Adjust the temperature back to your comfort level 20 to 30 minutes before you come home each day.
  • Reduce the heat or air conditioning  around 60 minutes before you go to sleep each night.
  • Increase heating or cooling approximately 30 minutes before you wake up each morning.
  • Schedule weekend settings that will be different from your mid-week thermostat settings.

Energy.gov provided a great example of what this sort of schedule might look like for an average family during the winter:

  • 6:45 a.m.: The family wakes up to get ready for the day. The temperature of the house is 68°F; the heat automatically turned on a bit earlier so it would hit this temperature by 6:30.
  • 7:45 a.m.: The family leaves the house and the thermostat is set to 63°F. By turning their thermostat back 5° or 6° for 8 hours, the family can save 5% to 15% a year on their heating bill — a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.
  • 4:30 p.m.: The family starts returning home from work and school. The heat turned back on a bit before this so the house would again be 68°F for their return.
  • 10:30 p.m.: The whole family has gone to bed (bundled in warm pajamas and snuggled under blankets), and the thermostat is again set to 63°F.

The same principles apply during the warmer months of the year, only in reverse.  A cooler temperature can be set for the hours when your family is home while allowing the temperature to be higher when your home is unoccupied.  Digital thermostats will have override functions for times when you are home unexpectedly, or if you need to change the settings while you are out of town.  

Programming a digital thermostat can be intimidating.  This online tool is a great way to practice and get a better idea of what you are working with.  Although it may not be your exact thermostat, it will help you get a general idea of how programming a thermostat will work.  If you don’t have a digital thermostat and are looking to upgrade, or just need a little bit of TLC in order to get yours programmed, contact us at Action Air today.  Give us a call at 931-647-8525 or send us a general inquiry.  And remember when you need action, call Action Air!

 

SourceLinks:

http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/program-your-thermostat-fall-and-winter-savings

http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=thermostats.progThermostat