5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Programmable Thermostat
If you’ve recently started using a programmable thermostat, you’re probably already seeing some of its great benefits. But we want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck.
Entek has helped customers heat and cool their homes more efficiently and effectively for more than seven decades. We want to do the same for you. So here are our top five tips to get the most out of your programmable thermostat.
1. Buy the Right Model Thermostat
If you haven’t purchased a programmable thermostat yet, perfect. You’re already one step ahead of the game by doing your research before selecting one. There are a few things to keep in mind when comparing programmable thermostats.
First, there are three main types of models on the market, each centered around a particular type of schedule. For instance, there’s the 5-2 model for people who have a standard weekly work schedule with weekends off. You can program your thermostat a certain way during the week when you’re more likely to be away from home and customize a different temperature setting for the weekends.
There is also a 5-1-1 model for people who work Monday through Friday but want to program two separate heating and cooling plans for Saturday and Sunday. There are also programmable thermostats with 7-day programming that allow you to program a heating and cooling schedule for each day of the week. This is an ideal option for people who have irregular work schedules that vary greatly from one day to the next.
2. Find an Ideal Location
Where you place your programmable thermostat in your home is important to how effectively and efficiently it will work. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing the right location.
Place your programmable thermostat on an interior wall in a centrally located area of your home, such as a family or living room. The key is to find an area of the home that’s representative of your home’s average room temperature.
Likewise, you want to avoid placing a programmable thermostat in an area of your home that’s susceptible to temperature fluctuations. For instance, avoid installing your programmable thermostat near windows or doors. Doors are opened and closed frequently, allowing for greater variations in temperature changes.
Windows can also allow in direct sunlight, causing the temperature in a room to rise or be drafty in cooler weather. This will make it more difficult for your programmable thermostat to get an accurate temperature reading. You should also avoid placing a programmable thermostat near air vents for similar reasons.
You should, however, place your thermostat on a wall about 52 to 60 inches above the floor to ensure the most accurate reading possible.
3. Carefully Select Your Settings
To maximize your energy savings, it’s important to select your temperature settings with cost savings in mind. According to the Department of Energy, you can save as much as 10 percent on your annual heating and cooling costs by setting your thermostat back 7 to 10 degrees from its normal temperature setting for 8 hours a day. If you work away from home for at least eight hours a day, this should be a fairly easy adjustment to make.
To maximize your energy savings, the Department of Energy also recommends setting your thermostat at 68 degrees in the wintertime. You can set it lower when you know you’re going to be away from home. During the summer, on the other hand, the Department of Energy recommends your thermostat setting be set at 78 degrees. To cut your energy costs even further, you can program it for a warmer setting when you’ll be away for an extended period of time.
4. Then Stick to Them
Programmable thermostats allow you to manually override pre-programmed settings, but it’s important to stick to the schedule as much as possible to maximize the amount of money you’ll save on your home energy costs. If you occasionally override the temperature settings, on a particularly hot or cold day, for instance, you should be fine. But if you’re constantly overriding your programmed temperature settings, you’re going to have a higher energy bill at the end of the month.
Instead, program your thermostat with temperatures that will provide optimal comfort while still helping you save money on your energy bills. Remember to use the override feature sparingly. And don’t make the mistake of thinking that turning up your AC as soon as it comes on will cool your home faster. The only thing you’ll do is wear your system down and increase the cost of your home energy bill.
5. Change the Batteries Annually
You should change the batteries in your programmable thermostat on a yearly basis. This should be done before the summer or winter months, when you’re likely to use your programmable thermostat the most. Another good reminder is to change your batteries when a certified technician visits your home for your annual HVAC service appointment.
Most thermostats also have a battery life indicator. When the light comes on, it’s a good reminder that it’s time to change the batteries in your thermostat. It’s important not to overlook this reminder because if your power goes out, your programmable thermostat can still run on its batteries, meaning you won’t lose your pre-programmed settings. So it’s a good idea to check them regularly and switch them out when necessary.
Following these tips will help you get the most out of your programmable thermostat while saving the most on your home energy costs. Improved comfort at a lower cost is what we call a win-win situation you can’t afford to miss out on. So if you haven’t already made the switch, give us a call so we can help you find the perfect programmable thermostat for your home.