Save Money With A Programmable Thermostat

One item in my home that I wouldn’t be without is my programmable thermostat. I love being able to get up in the morning to a warm house in the wintertime. No more forcing myself out of bed, racing to the thermostat to turn up the heat, and running back to bed until the house heats up to a bearable temperature.

Depending on the model you choose, you can program day and night temperatures and even different settings for every day of the week. In the winter you can save energy by setting the thermostat to 67 or 68 degrees while you are at home and programming it for a much lower temperature while you are asleep or away from home. The same principle works in the summertime. Set it to a comfortable temperature when you are at home and have it automatically adjust to a higher temperature when you will be away. While you can set your current thermostat manually and achieve the same result, a programmable thermostat will never forget to change the setting.

A programmable thermostat can be set to begin its cool down well before you leave for work or go to bed and return to a normal temperature an hour or two before you wake up or return from work. Remember that for best results you should keep the temperature set at its energy savings setting for long periods of time. If you need to, you can always override the setting without erasing the pre-set programming. Even though I am now retired and at home for most of the day, I still try to keep to my pre-set daytime program. Occasionally, if I am really chilled, I will cheat and adjust the temperature higher.

Years of research have shown that the longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy – and money – you save. It is a misconception that your furnace has to work harder than normal to warm your house back up after the thermostat has been set back, resulting in little or no savings.

When shopping for a programmable thermostat bring information with you about your current unit, including brand and model number. Different types of heating/cooling systems may require different types of thermostats. When purchasing a new programmable thermostat you need to insure that it is compatible with your current system. Although a few companies do make them, keep in mind that programmable thermostats are generally not recommended for heat pump systems. Setting back a heat pump when it is in its heating mode can cause it to operate inefficiently and cancel out any savings achieved by lowering the temperature.

The cost of programmable thermostats ranges in price from $30 to $250 depending on your desired features and the type of heating system you currently have. Utility companies or government agencies in some areas may provide rebates or incentives for installing programmable thermostats.

A programmable thermostat can pay for itself in energy saved within a couple of years. The average household spends about $1000 a year on heating and cooling bills. By using a programmable thermostat and turning your thermostat back ten degrees for eight hours a day; you can save $100 to $200 a year.


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