Control Your Heating Bills With a Programmable Thermostat
Installing a programmable thermostat is a great way to save money by using less enery. However, just installing the thermostat isn't enough - you have to make sure you properly program and use the thermostat in order to maximize your energy savings.
Changing the thermostat to a lower temperature in the winter and higher temperature in the summer saves money. "Setting back" the temperature at night or during the day when you're not home helps eliminate waste.
What a Programmable Thermostat does
A thermostat does two things. It compares the actual room temperature to the thermostat temperature you select and it gives start-and-stop commands to the heating and cooling system in order to reach and maintain the temperature setting you've selected. With older thermostats, you adjust your temperature settings through manual adjustment. Programmable thermostats can be programmed to adjust the temperature automatically for the time of the day and day of the week - making automatic adjustments when a manual thermostat cannot.
A Few Common Thermostat Questions
1. Will a programmable thermostat really save me money? Yes, up to $180 per year when used properly. A programmable thermostat allows you to adjust the thermostat settings when you are asleep or away. Rather than your thermostat being set at a constant temperature and having to remember to adjust it manually, the programmable thermostat will adjust the thermostat when you tell it to during programming.
2. How much does my thermostat setting affect my heating bill? In heating mode, reducing your thermostat setting by one degree for eight hours will save about one percent on your heating bill. In cooling mode, each degree you set your thermostat above 75 degrees Farenheit cuts your cooling costs by 3 percent.
3. Doesn't it take more energy for my furnace to get the temperature back to the normal setting after it's been turned down for a long time? No, it doesn't. While it's true that the furnace runs longer when it's warming up the house from the setback temperature, it doesn't run at all while the house is cooling down to the lower setting. It also saves energy because it takes less fuel to maintain the lower temperature. Longer setbacks will save more energy.
4. If I turn the thermostat way up, my home will warm up more quickly, right? No, you'll just use more energy. The thermostat turns the furnace on and off, it doesn't control how much heat the furnace produces. Your home will heat up just as quickly at a thermostat setting of 70 degrees as a thermostat settings of 78 degrees. The same idea applies to cooling your house in the summer. If you've set the cooling temperature at 78 degrees, turning it down to 68 degrees won't cool the house any faster. Set it to the temperature you want to be comfortable.