I have been talking about energy efficient updates around my house and one of the simpler updates was a programmable thermostat. Even though I only set mine in the winter, you can also use these in the summer with your central air. Since air conditioning season is quickly approaching, let me take this opportunity to highly recommend programmable thermostats and also give you some numbers to illustrate their effectiveness!
In January of this winter, I noticed that my programmable thermostat was on a permanent hold at 66 degrees Fahrenheit, not the weekly schedule I thought it was set on (62 degrees when nobody’s home or in bed, 68 degrees during usual awake and at home times). Oops! I quickly set it correctly and then the bill came. #%&@ Okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but the numbers were really interesting compared to the next month.
For the month when the programmable thermostat was not used as intended and the house was at 66 degrees all the time, energy usage was 3.8 therms per day and the average outdoor temperature was 15 degrees.
The next month, when the programmable thermostat was used with the schedule noted above, energy usage was 3.4 therms per day and the average outdoor temperature was 8 degrees! So the average outdoor temperature was colder, the indoor temperature was set higher during awake and at home periods, and the energy usage was still less! Win!
Now, you can argue that you can do a schedule like this with a manual thermostat and that’s true. But are you actually going to to do that every day and every night? I’m a pretty organized person and I know I’d drop the ball on that several times in a month if I ever got the hang of it in the first place.
I had mine installed when I got a new furnace and central air, but you can install a programmable thermostat anytime. Programmable thermostats work for me because they save make my energy bill less!