Programmable thermostats have been touted as big energy savers, slashing home heating and cooling costs, but in 2009 the federal EPA suspended labeling programmable thermostats as Energy Star certified.

Why? Studies revealed that homes with these thermostats often consumed more energy than those without. It wasn’t any intrinsic problem with the device, however, but rather operator error. To effectively use your programmable thermostat for maximum savings, follow these tips. 

Choose the Right Programmable Thermostat

With more programmable thermostats flooding the market, choosing the right one for your energy usage can be challenging. Research the options available and choose a thermostat that’s most in line with your schedule and heating and cooling preferences.

Set and Forget

Programmable thermostats are built to save on energy costs. It’s only when homeowners change or nullify programmed temperature settings that energy use increases. For example, set your thermostat at 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer when home. When asleep or at work, set the temperature higher in the summer and lower in the winter to achieve energy savings. Minimum eight-hour blocks of lower energy consumption will decrease your electric bill. Once you’ve set your programmable thermostat, avoid using the “hold” feature to turn off the programming.

Give Your Thermostat a Vacation

Heating or cooling an empty home at your regular comfort level is a waste of energy and money. When leaving town, set your thermostat to “vacation” until you return home. This is a consistent temperature that’s 5-10 degrees higher (or lower, depending on the season) than your regular comfort temp. Many thermostats offer smartphone apps that will allow you to adjust the temperature from your phone, ensuring the temperature is just right when you get home.

Save Money with Zones

When installing an HVAC zoning system in larger or multi-level homes, installing multiple programmable thermostats will result in bigger savings and energy efficiency. Each zone can be adjusted to the specific climate conditions of that part of the house. So, for example, the upstairs thermostat can be turned down after your family is awake and downstairs. A zoning system is a great way to save on energy costs.

Serving the Greater Cleveland area since 1978, Stack Heating & Cooling takes pride in educating our customers in energy conservation. Contact our experts about programmable thermostat installation and how to maximize energy savings.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about programmable thermostat and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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