Many older homes and offices were built with a manual thermostat that allows you to set a desired temperature, then it will cycle the furnace on and off to keep the temperature close to that preset level. In order to save money, you can set back the thermostat at night, but then you have to wake up to a cold house and set it up again, then wait for the furnace to heat the whole house. Most people don’t like to be in charge of resetting it all the time, so they can purchase and install an automatic (Programmable) thermostat that will reset itself based on a schedule (Program) that covers each day of the week. If you don’t already have one or if you have an older model, you should consider a simple upgrade to install a newer one.
Because you can program the heat (or cooling) level in advance, your comfort level will improve. For instance, if everyone is gone to work or school between 8AM and 4PM in the winter, you can program it to set back the temp to save wasted energy all day, and then to anticipate your return by raising the home’s temperature at 3:45 so it’s warm when you get there. There is no need to walk in and set the temperature, then wait for the furnace to catch up.
After the initial setup is completed, a programmable thermostat will perform all the setbacks and setups for you. Most of these types of thermostats are configured for a number of temperature changes daily (often this is 4 per day), and allow for different schedules on weekends. Families who can arrange for the setback to be 8 hours or more, such as overnight, or when they are gone during the day, will see the most savings. An important consideration for those who have a heat pump, you need a thermostat specially designed for use with that type of system. Otherwise, the heat pump may use lots of additional electricity by causing the emergency strip heaters to warm the house instead of the heat pump.
The installation of a programmable thermostat is not difficult, but you must read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your safety and to assure that you don’t damage your heating and cooling equipment. The installation may be easy, or it might be moderately difficult, depending on what type of thermostat is being replaced. Also, it can be tricky to program the device properly, and each model is slightly different. If you set it up incorrectly, you won’t get the desired results.
If you would like assistance with this project, contact us for a free estimate, or call us at 317-297-1622. We’ll be glad to advise you on the best way to improve your comfort and to cut costs. Additional information can be found at this link created by the US Dept of Energy.