A programmable thermostat is a convenient device for balancing comfort and energy savings, if it’s programmed correctly. Use this handy guide to better understand programming strategies, and you can enjoy optimal home comfort on your schedule while balancing your energy budget.
A basic programmable thermostat offers four daily event changes, and most offer more than that. Programming temperature changes to suit your household’s schedule is only a matter of noting the hours throughout the week when the household is unoccupied (e.g. working hours and regularly scheduled events) and general sleeping hours.
Next, decide which is more important: saving energy, better home comfort or a nice balance of the two. To give you an idea of the amount of energy saved by thermostat turn-back/up periods, the U.S. Department of Energy states that turning back/up the thermostat 7 to 10 degrees for an eight-hour block reduces heating and cooling costs by up to 10 percent.
With this in mind, follow these programming strategies to get started:
- Take advantage of working and sleeping hours to program at least eight hours in a row, or more, to save energy. Program the turn-back/up period a modest seven degrees.
- Resume your normal comfort temperature during evening hours.
- It’s a good idea when first using a programmable thermostat to stay a little closer to your comfort temperature during sleeping hours by turning back/up the temperature four to six degrees.
- The primary reason to start with modest temperature changes is to avoid using the “hold” button to override program settings. This compromises any energy savings.
- By adhering, at first, more closely to your comfort temperature, you may be less likely to “reward” yourself by turning up/down the temperature.
- Make sure your new programmable thermostat is compatible with your heating and cooling system. This is especially important for Central Florida homeowners who use heat pump heating. Heat pumps heat for long cycles to maintain temperatures within two degrees of the thermostat setting. Temperature differences greater than two degrees activate inefficient backup heating.
For more programmable thermostat tips, please contact us at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about Programmable Thermostats and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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