There’s an easier way to save money and energy than remembering to punch buttons on your thermostat every time you go to bed or leave the house. The solution is a programmable thermostat. As we discussed in our last blog post, a smart thermostat like the Carrier® Infinity® Touch can do a lot to make your life easier and your bills less painful. Once you program it, it can remember to turn down the heat or air conditioning when you don’t really need it, and it can optimize your HVAC system for different “zones” throughout your home. First, however, you need to know how to program your thermostat in a way that will help rather than hinder. In today’s blog post, we’ll go over how to best utilize your programmable thermostat.
Ready to make the upgrade? Arthur Hagar is your source for trustworthy HVAC equipment. As a Carrier factory-authorized dealer and Fort Worth’s Top Rated Local® HVAC specialists, you can depend on our team to help you find the right home thermostat to match your system and meet your needs. Explore our site to learn more about your options or call today for a consultation!
Choose Your Schedule
The first step to properly utilizing your programmable thermostat is deciding how you want to program it. Your customization options will depend on what kind of thermostat you get — some will let you dictate a different schedule for every day of the week, while others only let you set a program for different times throughout the day. At the very least, most will give you the chance to set temperatures for four different times of day:
- Wake time — set the temperature for when you typically get out of bed in the morning
- Leave time — turn the temperature down before you leave for work to save money
- Return time — set your preferred temperature for whenever you typically get home from work
- Sleep time — turn down the temperature again after you usually go to bed to conserve energy
There are a few guidelines for choosing the specific times you use during programming that can help keep you comfortable. For example, you don’t want to set your “return time” or “wake time” for the exact hour that you typically come home or get out of bed. It will take some time for your HVAC system to adjust the temperature of your home to your preferences, and while many thermostats do take this into consideration, you can avoid discomfort by giving yourself and your system a 20- to 30-minute window to adjust.
It will take a while for your home to lose heat or cool air, so you can prompt your thermostat to turn up or down about 20 minutes before you leave for the day. On the other hand, to make sure that your home will be comfortable when you return from a long day, program your thermostat to return to your preferred temperature about 20 minutes before you plan to come home. You can probably stand to give your HVAC system even more of a break around bedtime — we recommend that you turn down the heat or air conditioning about an hour before you’re ready to go to sleep, but set your thermostat to bounce back about 30 minutes before you wake up to avoid an uncomfortable morning.
Choose Your Temperature
Once you’ve decided on a heating and cooling routine that matches your schedule, the next question becomes: what temperature do you choose for each period of time? The Department of Energy has a few suggestions.
During the Summer
If you want to save money and energy, you want to keep your air conditioning set as low as you can handle without being uncomfortable. According to the Department of Energy, the best temperature for your wallet and your energy bills during the summer is about 78 degrees Fahrenheit. If it doesn’t affect your comfort or your health, let the temperature of your home rise overnight. On days when it’s cool, cloudy, or rainy, and the outside temperature is less problematic, you can turn of the air conditioning altogether. If your house becomes too warm, however, your thermostat may take action and kick the AC back into gear.
During the Winter
The same principles apply to energy and cost efficiency during the winter: the closer to the outside temperature you can keep your home, the better, which means keeping it as cool as you can. The Department of Energy recommends keeping your home at about 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember that a drop in about eight degrees can boost your savings, so aim for a setting of around 60 degrees Fahrenheit for when you are out of the house or asleep. Many people think that those savings are negated by the energy it takes your furnace to kick back into gear and reheat your home when you return, but heating a cool house doesn’t actually require more energy. Keep an eye out for a future blog post on HVAC system myths to learn more.
Install Your Programmable Thermostat Today
Take advantage of your Top Rated Local® HVAC specialists and get the perfect home thermostat from Arthur Hagar today! We have been helping Fort Worth families stay safe and comfortable since 1949, and we can’t wait to help you. With our selection of Carrier thermostats, we’ll be sure to find a programmable thermostat that works for you and your home. Call us today to request a free estimate!