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Cleveland HVAC Blog

Programmable Thermostats: A User's Guide to Efficiency

Posted by Paul Wadsworth on Wed, Oct 05, 2011 @ 08:50 AM

PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT CAN SAVE YOU MONEYProgrammable thermostats provide a way of increasing your home's heating and cooling efficiency without spending a ton of money. According to Energy Savers, you could save money just by adjusting your household temperature by 10 degrees for eight hours. While constantly adjusting a manual thermostat can be inconvenient, a programmable thermostat allows you to program your home's heating and cooling system according to your schedule and it never forgets!


Identify your personal comfort level

The first step to saving money on heating and cooling bills is to identify your personal comfort level, or the temperature you'd like your home to be when you're at home. To save money during the winter, program your thermostat to 10-15 degrees lower than your personal comfort level during the time frame that no one is at home. For summer energy savings, set your thermostat 10-15 degrees higher. You can do this with no sacrifice in household comfort, because your thermostat will automatically bring the temperature back to your personal comfort level at the time you designate.  The only exception to this game plan is during periods of extreme temperatures--either hot or cold.  During these periods you may want to shorten up or completely eliminate the setback window so that you system can maintain set points inside.


Programmable thermostats come in three major styles:

  • 7-day models allow you to program a different schedule for every day of the week. 
  • 5+2-day models give you one schedule for weekdays and another for weekends.
  • 5+1+1-day thermostats let you set one program for weekdays, one for Saturday and another for Sunday. 


Some programmable thermostats have additional features designed to maximize your system's efficiency:

  • Filter indicators let you know when to change the air filter.
  • Malfunction indicators let you know when your system is not working properly.
  • Hold/vacation settings allow you to change thermostat settings while you're away for extended periods without losing your routine daily and weekly settings.
  • Hold functions to defeat the setback program for short periods when people are home sick or for unusual events.

It is important that you get a thermostat that is compatible with your unique system and household needs.  Different models are designed for different systems and not all units are appropriate for all systems. If you have questions about programmable thermostats, or any other aspect of your heating and cooling system, contact us at P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling.

Photo Credit: Lars Ploumann

Topics: how to program your thermostat, programmable thermostat

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