This summer, it’s important to look for ways to save money on your energy bill while keeping your home cool. Programmable thermostats are a great way to program temperature adjustments several times throughout the day, helping your home remain comfortable when people are there and energy-efficient when they are not. According to a study by ENERGY STAR®, a typical U.S. household spends over $2,000 a year on energy bills. You may have a programmable thermostat in your home, but are you maximizing its features to save you money? Taking advantage of what your programmable thermostat can do helps minimize HVAC energy costs. Additionally, it can increase the lifespan of your HVAC system, since your AC unit will not have to work as hard for as long if programmed correctly. Check out some steps you can take with your programmable thermostat to help cut down on your summer energy costs.  

1. Determine a Schedule

Figure out your family’s weekly schedule. Are you normally out of the house by 7:30 AM for school and work? Do people start returning at around 3:00 PM? Then, think about how you spend your weekends. Is your family normally gone over the weekend or do you spend most of your Saturdays and Sundays at home? Drilling down your days by the hour will help ensure that your thermostat is only telling your HVAC system to spit out a comfortable temperature when you need it, not when there is nobody there to enjoy it.  

2. Adjust Your Thermostat Settings for Each Day

After determining what a week in your house looks like, take time to put this information into your thermostat. Typically, programmable thermostats have a “set” button that will take you through different pre-set times through each day of the week. You can change the times for each day along with the temperature so it fits your family’s daily schedule. Additionally, if you are a person that sleeps better in cool conditions, this is a good time to schedule your thermostat to make your home cooler through the night and set the temperature to rise as you wake up.

3. Use the “Hold” Feature Sparingly

The ability to use “hold” on your programmable thermostat lets you override the pre-set temperature and thermostat setting if your schedule randomly changes. If you find that you or a member of the family is home during a time where the house is normally unoccupied, the thermostat’s typical settings will need to change to accommodate. It can also be a hassle to have to reprogram everything so you can maintain a comfortable temperature for a day. Your thermostat’s “hold” and “run” features give you the ability to enjoy the temperature you need at that specific time without needing to reset your whole schedule again.

However, avoid leaving it on the “hold” setting all the time as it will decrease your thermostat’s energy efficiency.

When to use the “hold” feature

Over a holiday

A day when you know you and your whole family will be home, like Christmas, Thanksgiving, or July 4th, are good times to hold your thermostat settings for 24 hours and set it back to normal when you return to your everyday responsibilities.

If you’re home sick

You can’t plan sickness, and sometimes you’ll find yourself home when you didn’t expect it. Using the hold setting on your thermostat won’t only help keep a set temperature throughout the day, but will also allow you to keep it hotter or colder than the normal temperature depending on how you’re feeling.

During a vacation

Some thermostats have their own vacation mode, but if you find your family leaving the house for more than a couple of days, you can set your thermostat to hold a set temperature while you’re gone, requiring your AC to do as little work as possible and saving you money while you’re gone. When you return, simply return it back to its previous settings.

4. Avoid Making Drastic Changes

Constantly overriding your programmed temperatures will defeat the purpose of saving energy. The higher the temperature difference, the longer and harder your AC system will have to work to get to the desired temperature you need. Keep your programmed temperature changes within a seven to ten degree range to help your system work as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Thermostat Repair & Replacement by Wyckoff Heating & Cooling

Whether you are experiencing temperature imbalance issues, loss of airflow, or your energy bill seems larger than normal, our Wyckoff HVAC-certified technicians will help you with any thermostat repair or replacement problems or questions you may have. We carry a variety of thermostat brands and can recommend and install the right type of thermostat for your home so you can get the airflow and comfort level you need. Contact us today to get started!