The cold weather has finally arrived. Along with putting on boots, coats, and a scarf you may have turned on your heater for the first time and had a silent moment of thanks for no longer needing the air conditioner and paying those high summer utility bills. But have you ever given any thought to the tiny device that allows you to control the most important systems in your home?
Your thermostat, small as it is, plays a large role in the amount of energy consumed by your heating and air conditioning system. The Department of Energy says that by turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours, you can save 5% to 15% a year on your heating bill — that’s savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is 8 hours long. And that is a HUGE savings! But for a lot of us, remembering to turn the temperature down before we leave for work in the morning happens long after we’ve left the house. A programmable thermostat can help.
“With a programmable thermostat you are able to set up a schedule so at a certain time of the day the temperature goes up, and later on, in the day it goes down, and in the evening it goes down even further. You can set the temperature to your lifestyle,” said John Moore Services HVAC Manager Charles Griffith. “It is part of the home automation system, so you are able to control your thermostat through an app on your smartphone or through your computer.”
If you can set your thermostat and control it from any location, forgetting to adjust the temperature as you are rushing to get to work is no longer a big deal. Aside from the convenience factor, there are several other key features that are beneficial to you, the homeowner.
Scheduling: There are many different brands and options of programmable thermostats available, but they all have the basic feature of scheduling which includes wake, leave, return, and sleep settings. You decide what time of the day each of these periods begin and end, then set the temperature you prefer. And all you have to do is set it one time and never worry about it again.
Scheduling for different days: Not only can you schedule your work week, but many brands allow you to set your weekends too. This is an important feature because most people have a different schedule on Saturday and Sunday than during the rest of the week. And depending on how advanced your thermostat is, you can program a vacation override, which allows you to adjust your settings for a week and then returns back to normal once you come home.
Learning: The learning feature on some thermostats take everything a giant step further. Instead of setting up and programming your schedule based on your daily routine, the learning feature will watch your habits for a week and is then able to adjust the temperature based on your actions of the previous week. It is also able to detect the temperature outside, and on a really hot or cold day, it will turn on earlier to make your home as comfortable as possible.
If you program your thermostat correctly you could save a significant amount of money on your monthly bills. But notice we said correctly. Remembering to set your temperature at least 10 degrees lower when you are at work and asleep is important when it comes to savings. As we mentioned before, you can get a 1% savings for each degree if the setback period is 8 hours. And you also have to remember not to override your settings because doing so will affect the amount of savings you achieve.
Programmable thermostats are designed to make our lives easier, and if used the right way can help us save a great deal of money. But because there are so many options available, it can be difficult to know if you are purchasing the right one for your home, and that’s where we come in. The expert HVAC technicians at John Moore Services are trained and knowledgeable in the world of programmable thermostats and would love to help you find the one that is right for your family, so give us a call today!