There’s a lot of wrong information about programmable thermostats and whether you should reset the temperature inside your home at night to save money. Let’s cut through the hype and the misinformation and get down to the real facts about nighttime thermostat settings and the value of programmable thermostats.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save money on heating and cooling your home by changing your thermostat when you’re away from home or asleep – despite headlines you may have seen that say otherwise. You make the setting changes yourself if you trust your memory or you can install a programmable automatic setback thermostat to do the job for you.
Dispelling Myths About Resetting Your Thermostat
Some people have the idea that resetting your thermostat at night or when you’re away doesn’t save you any energy. But they’re confused, and it’s easy to understand how the confusion happens. You can save money on cooling your home if you raise your thermostat just a degree or two every night when you go to bed. You can also save if you increase it as much as a few degrees when you’ll be out of the house for hours – like when you go to work.
But here’s what doesn’t work: turning your AC off all day or all night and then turning it on when you need it. When you do that, there’s a lot of hot air to overcome, and your unit has to stay on a long time to catch up. There’s no savings from that. The exception is when you’re gone for several days, as long you don’t have any pets or possessions that shouldn’t get hot.
Do you see how the confusion happens? Making an adjustment of one or several degrees saves. Turning the unit off completely doesn’t save any money in the long run and can cost you money.
Stay Comfortable With A Programmable Thermostat
The purpose of a home heating and cooling system is to keep you comfortable, and you don’t want to make any adjustments that lead to poor sleep or discomfort when you come home from a long day at work. When you install a programmable thermostat, you can schedule when your air conditioner or heater gets a break. These devices can store several settings and may be able to handle different settings for different days of the week. Plus, they have manual overrides that allow you to get comfortable if you’re home or awake at an unexpected time.
During the summer months, you may want to set your AC system to a setting of around 80 degrees when you’re away or asleep and perhaps 78 degrees when you’re home. When you’re away or asleep, you want the setting as high as possible, but you don’t want the system off since AC systems also work to control humidity. When you’re using your home actively, program the thermostat to the highest level that allows for comfort in every room and allows you to stay cool even when moving around cleaning or working on a hobby.
You may need to experiment a bit to hit the sweet spot, but when you do, you’ll be saving every minute of every day. You’ll soon recover the low cost of installing a programmable thermostat.
Making A Smart Programmable Thermostat Choice
Programmable thermostat models are usually digital, electromechanical or both. Digital models have the most features and offer several setback options. But be prepared for a learning curve. Some models can be difficult to program. Some modern choices learn your habits using motion sensors and make subtle adjustments over time until your reach the best combination of comfort and savings. While electromechanical models are easy to use, they’re becoming less common.
Just as important as choosing the right programmable thermostat is choosing its location. The location of your old thermostat may not be right. The best option is on an interior wall away from doors and windows and out of drafts or sunlight. When possible, it shouldn’t be placed near large pieces of furniture that block airflow.
When you choose to have your new thermostat professionally installed, the installers will take into consideration your home’s size and type as well as the old thermostat location and recommend the best device and location for peak performance.
At Daniels Air, we’re your complete home HVAC specialists. We can install a programmable thermostat for you that will automatically save you money every day. We can also help you make the right choices when upgrading to a new air conditioning and heating system to make sure get you get the most efficiency for the lowest possible price.
You deserve to be comfortable in your home, but there’s no reason paying for total comfort when you’re not there to enjoy it. With sensible changes to your temperature setting when you’re out or asleep, you can save. Do that manually or automate the process with a programmable thermostat.