Most people think of their thermostat as the little box on their wall that they adjust when they are feeling cold. But if you have a programmable thermostat, you could be doing much more with it – including saving money.
In fact, managing the temperature of your home with a programmable thermostat is one of the easiest ways to save 10 percent or more on your energy costs – enough to cover the cost of installing one if you don’t have one already.
If you do have a programmable thermostat, you might be wondering what settings will give you the best balance of comfort and economy. Here’s what the U.S. Department of Energy has to say about that:
- When you’re home and awake, set the thermostat for 68°F.
- Lower temperatures by 7-10° for the hours you’re asleep or out of the house.*
- When you’re home and awake, program air conditioning to 78°F.
- Program the AC to shut off during the hours you’re out of the house.
- Program heat or A/C to shut off 20-30 minutes before you leave home each day; return them to normal comfort levels 20 to 30 minutes before you come home.**
- Program reductions in heating or cooling to begin 60 minutes before you go to sleep; return them to normal comfort levels 30 minutes before you awaken.
* On exceptionally cold days, avoid dropping your thermostat below 60 degrees to prevent frozen pipes.
** If you have Wi-Fi thermostat, you can control your home’s temperature from your smart phone.