Programmable thermostats are one of the first items recommended to homeowners looking to save energy. The long-quoted rule is that, on average, if you raise or lower your thermostat by one degree for eight hours per day, you increase or decrease your energy use by 1 percent. Therefore, you can get about a 10 percent savings by adjusting the temperature by 10 degrees before you leave for work each day. When you make the adjustment by hand, you risk forgetting to change the temperature or coming home to an uncomfortable house. With a programmable thermostat, your house will be at the temperature you want exactly when you want it to be there.
The main benefit is scheduling. Most models have wake, leave, return, and sleep settings. You set the time of day each period starts and what temperature you would like during that time, and the thermostat automatically makes the adjustments. In addition to not having to worry about remembering to change the temperature when you’re away, you’ll also be able to come home or wake up to a home that’s already at a comfortable temperature.
Some models have different settings for different days. The most common options are weekdays and weekends, weekdays plus separate Saturday and Sunday settings, or different settings for each day of the week. More advanced models also allow you to program a vacation override.
WiFi thermostats let you program your HVAC system even when you’re not home. If you’re coming home late, you can set it to turn on later. If you’re coming home early, you can have your home ready when you get there. If you forget to adjust your thermostat for your vacation, you can do it from the airport.
Learning thermostats take things a step forward. Instead of a fixed schedule, they adapt to your habits and the air temperature. On a particularly hot or cold day, they’ll turn on sooner. If they detect that you always make an adjustment at a certain time, they’ll start making it for you.
Getting a smarter thermostat gives you a tool that can definitely save energy, but the savings aren’t automatic. You’ll need to program it properly so that your heating and cooling use is lower when you’re away or asleep. You’ll also need to resist any urges to override the programming when you’re home. If you remember that a smart thermostat isn’t a magic box that automatically saves energy, but is instead something that helps reduce your heating and cooling use, you’ll probably more than make up its installation cost in lower energy bills.
If you’re looking for a new thermostat in the Rolling Meadows, IL, area, contact Tempco Heating & Air Conditioning. We have a full range of models to choose from to maximize your indoor comfort at a price that’s in your budget.