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How to Use Your Programmable Thermostat for Maximum Savings

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thermostatSo, you’ve got a programmable thermostat (or maybe you’re looking to buy one). How the heck do you use it to save up to $180 a year?

We’ll not only show you how to set the programmable thermostat, but why it works to save you money.

How to set the programmable thermostat in summer and winter

All of our recommendations for programmable thermostat settings come from Energy.gov.

In cooling months (mainly summer):

  • When you’re home and awake: 78°F
  • When you’re asleep: Higher than normal, but not so much so that you can’t sleep.
  • When you’re away from home for 8+ hours: 88°F-93°F (10 to 15 degrees higher than normal)

In heating months (mainly winter):

  • When you’re home and awake: 68°F
  • When you’re asleep: Lower than normal, but not so much so that you can’t sleep.
  • When you’re away from home for 8+ hours: 53°F-58°F (10 to 15 degrees lower than normal)

Let’s apply the summer settings to the typical programmable thermostats “sessions” or programs.

  1. Wake—For when you wake up. Set it to 78°F a few minutes before you typically wake up.
  2. Day—When you’re gone for the day. Set to 88°F-93°F(10 to 15 degrees higher than normal) .
  3. Evening—When you get home from work in the evening. Set it to get to 78°F about 30 minutes before you get home.
  4. Sleep—For when you go to sleep. Set it to go to a higher setting right when you’re about to go to bed. This is a personal preference, so do what’s best for you so you’re comfortable.

Why this saves you money

Some people think their heating or cooling system works harder to heat or cool the home if the temperature gets too low or high. So all these crazy thermostat settings won’t actually save money.

But that’s not true!

Here’s why: Your heating and cooling system works less often when the temperature outside is closer to the temperature inside because the rate of heat transfer is slower.

Here’s what we mean. Let’s say it’s winter, and you turn the thermostat down to 58°F when you leave for work. At this point, heat from your home is transferring slower to the outside. Meaning your furnace is running less often to keep your home at the temperature you’ve set.

The same goes for summer (except the heat is trying to get inside at a lower rate.)

It is true that your AC/Furnace does need to run longer to get your home back to your preferred temperature. But the time your system spent NOT running during the day more than makes up for that.

Need someone to install your professional thermostat? Contact us for help.

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Air Professionals is a whole-home comfort company serving New Jersey homeowners. Contact us for more information on how we can help improve your home’s comfort.