Programmable thermostats are a great way to save energy and make your home more comfortable. In addition, they’re easy to use if you know some best practices, and it’s quite easy to master the management of a programmable thermostat with a little help. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your thermostat.
Stick to Recommended Temperatures
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends keeping your AC at 78 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter for the highest energy efficiency. While these may seem like uncomfortable temperatures for some, it doesn’t take long for your body to adjust. If you’re used to a crisp 68 degrees in the summer, use ceiling fans and proper summer attire to help yourself during the adjustment period. If you’re cold at 68 degrees in the winter, don’t be afraid to break out your cozy sweater, sock and blankets to keep yourself warm.
Plan Around Your Work Schedule
When you’re away from home, like at work or on vacation, lower or raise the temperature a couple of degrees to save even more energy. However, bigger is not better in this situation. Unless you’re going to be gone for days, use small increments of a couple of degrees — 78 to 80 degrees or 68 to 66 degrees — to keep your HVAC system from overworking when switching between “away” and “home” settings.
By programming your thermostat to bring the temperature back to your “home” setting about 30 minutes before you usually get home, it will be ready and comfortable for you. If your thermostat allows, you can also program your thermostat to cool the home more before you go to sleep for greater comfort at night – a must-have for some homeowners who need a chilly sleeping environment.
Stick to Your Programming
Especially in the days, or even weeks, after adjusting your thermostat settings, it can be tempting to change the temperature when you’re uncomfortable. However, constantly changing the settings makes your AC work harder and wastes energy, and you should avoid turning to the thermostat every time you’re a little uncomfortable. As mentioned above, use sweaters and blankets during the winter or summer clothing and fans during warm months to help you adjust to the temperature.
Thermostat Installation is for Pros
There’s no better way to ensure that you’re using your programmable thermostat correctly than to make sure it’s installed correctly. A thermostat can only work for you if it’s working properly itself. When buying a programmable thermostat, make sure to have it installed professionally rather than turning it into your latest DIY project.