Top 3 Things to Consider for Operating Your Programmable Thermostat:
- Don’t use too short of intervals – it doesn’t make sense to try and have your furnace or A/C firing on all cylinders to hit a desired temperature for only a short period of time. It’s hard on your HVAC unit and it takes more energy to get to a set temperature than to maintain one. How short is too short? Ideally you would use 6 – 8 hour intervals, or allow for small increases or decreases where that’s going to be shorter.
- Make your home energy efficient – there’s not a lot of sense to using a programmable thermostat to save money if you’re home isn’t well insulated with ductwork that offers optimal heating or cooling to all rooms. Also consider strategically closing vents, this is called “zoning” and can be done in the rooms themselves or sometimes with the ductwork… why heat or cool square footage that isn’t used?
- Avoid temperature extremes – as alluded to a couple of places above, having too big of a temperature difference between intervals is too hard on your HVAC and depletes the savings. A couple of good target temperatures for when you’re home are 70 during the day and 64 at night during winter, and 74 – 76 in summer. Aim for max 4 – 6 degrees between intervals and estimated savings will be between 10 and 15%.