What if I told you there’s something in your home right now that could save you close to $200 a year. You already own it. It’s ready to use. You just have to take a few minutes to choose the settings you want.
Chances are it’s true.
If you’ve invested in a new air conditioning and heating system in the past five years, there’s a good chance you have a programmable thermostat in your home. Yet, according to a recent survey from the Department of Energy, less than half of homeowners properly program their thermostats.
Programmable thermostats give you the luxury of setting the temperature to your desire at the different times of day and different days of the week. You set it, and then leave it alone. Your AC and heating system does the rest of the work.
For instance, consider this scenario during a typical day in winter:
Wake up at 7am Monday through Friday? Set the heater to start warming up the house around 6:45am. Then lower the temperatures around 7:45am as you’re heading out to work. You can program the heat to turn back on around 5:30pm as everyone arrives back home. Then one final program – turning the temperature back down a bit as you go to sleep.
That may sound a little overwhelming to read, but it only takes a minute or two to program. And the savings add up.
The Stats on Programmable Thermostats
- Come installed with most new AC systems
- If you want to upgrade, programmable thermostats start at $25
- Can reduce HVAC costs by 30%, according to Energy Star
- Homeowners who use properly programmed thermostat can save $180 a year, according to the Department of Energy
Programmable thermostats are just the latest wave of new technology in the HVAC field. The Nest Thermostat, designed by the same guy who designed the iPod, is one of the hottest home improvement products on the market right now. But no matter which programmable thermostat you go with, they’ll more than likely have most, if not all, of these features:
- Digital screen with touch pad
- Voice capability
- Air filter change reminders
- Warning lights that signal a failure in your heating and/or cooling system
- Vacation-mode programming
One final note about programmable thermostats: Not everyone has the same schedule, so there are different thermostat models for different schedules. Some programmable thermostats work seven days a week, meaning what you program will be the same schedule every day. Other thermostats allow you to set a weekday schedule and a different schedule for the weekend. Finally, there are programmable thermostats that allow you to set a weekday schedule and a different schedule each for Saturday and Sunday. It’s really up to you and your family’s schedule as to which one is the right model.