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Making Programmable Thermostats Work for You

When you ask just about anyone in the HVAC industry what you can do to improve performance and efficiency in your system, programmable thermostats are almost always at the top of the list. This remarkable piece of technology allows property owners to automatically adjust the temperature according to a predetermined schedule, sometimes hitting six or more different settings each day, to maintain comfort while minimizing power usage.

How Thermostats Can Save You Money

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homeowners can save as much as 10% on their utility bills every year by just turning their thermostats back by 10 degrees for 8 hours a day. The idea here is that during the time when you might be at work or school, you program your thermostat to be closer to the outside temperature to save on energy.

So, during the winter, you might set the thermostat to 68 degrees during times when you know you’ll be home, but 58 when you are out of the house. Summers would follow the same strategy, maintaining a cooler temperature while you’re home to enjoy it, but allowing the home to warm up while you are away. The more you are able to minimize the difference between temperatures inside the home and outside, the more money you will be able to save.

One thing to note: setting your thermostat at a temperature beyond what you want will not warm or cool the property any faster. It only wastes energy and puts an unnecessary strain on your system.

Limitations With Other Home Comfort Systems

While programmable thermostats excel alongside traditional systems, they are not always ideal for other models. A heat pump, for example, is an all-in-one system that operates on different principles than a standard central unit. Setting back a heat pump when it is in heating mode can degrade its efficiency, counteracting whatever may have been achieved by lowering the setting. Radiant floor heating, electric resistance heating, and steam heat all have unique challenges associated with them as well. The technology is beginning to catch up and provide programmable options for these models, but the industry is still in its infancy. These are all things to keep in mind as you determine whether a programmable thermostat is right for you.

Programming Your Comfort

It should come as no surprise that as technology in the rest of the world speeds along, the possibilities for systems like these continue to grow. There are programmable digital thermostats with countless options and even smart thermostats that can be adjusted from your mobile device. On the other end of the spectrum, there are also electromechanical systems that are much simpler and more straightforward to program.

As you go about programming your thermostat, consider your standard schedule and your comfort preferences. If you prefer a cooler environment to sleep in, set back the temperature a bit ahead of your normal bedtime. These setbacks are most beneficial during times of day when the house is consistently empty.

If you have any further questions or are ready to install a programmable thermostat in your home, reach out to the team at Blazer Heating, Air, and Plumbing today! We are here to help.