Installing a Programmable Thermostat Saves Money

Installing a Programmable Thermostat Saves Money

Heating and cooling a home is often one of the most expensive costs for households. Consumers spend approximately 43% of their utility budget controlling the temperature of their residence. Many times they are heating or cooling empty rooms because the occupants are at work or school. This expenditure can be significantly reduced with the installation of a programmable thermostat.

Studies have shown installing an inexpensive programmable thermostat can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 15%, when used to control the temperature in a house or apartment for 8 hours a day. Even more savings can be realized by adjusting drapes or blinds on the south side of a building during the warmest part of the day to keep rooms cooler in the summer, or warmer in the winter.

Programmable thermostats are designed to work with the heating and cooling systems in most homes. They run a program that increases or decreases the temperature depending on time of day. For example, the temperature could be set to lower the heat settings an hour before bedtime and increase them an hour before waking. Or decrease air conditioner settings during the day when people are at work, and increase them during the early evening when the house or apartment is occupied.

There are many types available on the market ranging from simple analog clock thermostats, to sophisticated digital thermostats with touchscreens. Most also have override options that allow users to change temperature without disrupting the programs.

Consumers should chose a thermostat that fits their individual heating and cooling needs. For someone who follows the same schedule everyday, an analog clock thermostat may be sufficient. Hot and cold events are set by the use of sliding levers along an analog temperature scale. They run the same programs daily but do not allow for differences during weekends.

For more versatile devises that allow for multiple modes, look for a digital thermostat. Many of theses are available with easy to use touchscreens and even offer maintenance reminders. They allow several temperature settings to be assigned for different time frames equivalent to morning, day, evening, and night. Most digital thermostats allow users to program special changes when the owner is away from home for extended periods of time, such as during vacations and holidays. Some digital thermostats can learn how the heating system in a home works. They can anticipate how long it will take for the system to reach the target temperature and adjust accordingly.

Thought should also be given to the power source required and the ease of installation. Some programmable thermostats use rechargeable batteries. Others require a direct power source and all of them need to be hard wired into the heating/cooling system of the home. Always check with a heating and cooling professional for advise. If installing a new thermostat in a rented property, request permission from the owner first.

Using a programmable thermostat to control the temperature in a home is a cost effective way to reduce utilities. Even the more sophisticated devices will pay for themselves in one season and add value to any home.


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