There’s nothing quite like receiving your first round of utility bills during the peak of summer. Does your bank account feel emptier? You can ease the shock by investing in a programmable thermostat if you haven't already. They're easy to install and you can start saving right away!
While the initial investment in a programmable thermostat can vary ($50-$200) – it pays for itself quickly, often in less than a year. A typical household can save about $150 a year on cooling costs once you've made the switch.
Programmable thermostats are easy to use and they allow you to regulate the temperature automatically. While there are many models available, almost all of the ones on the market allow you to adjust the temperature so that you're using less energy when you aren't home or are asleep.
Adjusting Your Thermostat for the Summer
It's no surprise that we use our air conditioner or heat pump to cool our homes the most in the summer months. Simply by adjusting your thermostat by +/- 1 degree can save you money - even enough to power a 50” TV for over a month!
The recommended range for cooling during summer months is 78°. When you’re at work or away, keep your house warmer than normal. While on vacation, it's a good idea to set the hold button at a constant temperature.
Smart Home Technology = Savings
Many of the new programmable thermostats have corresponding apps for your mobile device that also allow you to control your home’s energy use with the touch of a button from anywhere in the world! Are you going on a family vacation and left without adjusting your thermostat? You can have instant peace of mind by changing it on the go no matter where you may be. The folks at LifeHacker created a list of the best smart thermostats to help you save money.
Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when using your programmable thermostat:
- Install your thermostat away from heating and cooling vents or registers, appliances and electronics that generate, open doorways and direct sunlight.
- While having control is a great thing, don’t continually change your settings. The more you adjust them, the more you spend.
- If you have multiple units, use a programmable thermostat for each zone of your house. This is especially useful if there are areas in your home that are used less often (guest bedrooms, basements)
- If your thermostat is battery powered, don’t forget to change them at least once a year. It should be one of the first things you check before calling your HVAC provider.
Want to know how to program your thermostat? Check out this video from The Home Depot:
Still not convinced? If you're curious about the numbers, here's a great chart from Energy Star that shows the cost savings when installing a programmable thermostat in your home.
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