The U.S. Department of Energy says you can save 10% a year on heating and cooling costs by turning your thermostat back 7 to 10 degrees from its normal setting for 8 hours a day. According to a study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, nearly 90% of Americans say they’ve rarely (or never) programmed their thermostat because they’re not sure how to do it. But it’s really not that hard, and it’s definitely worth doing because it can save at least 10% a year on heating and cooling costs.
Below are four types of programmable options, choose which is best for you.
Best for individuals or families with erratic schedules, since this is the most flexible option. It lets you program a different heating/cooling schedule for each day of the week.
Same as 5-1-1 programming, except Saturday and Sunday will have the same heating/cooling plan.
Here are a few programming timing tips that can help you create the best set-it-and-forget-it cooling schedule for your home:
- For the hours you’re home, program A-C to 78°F.
- Program it to be warmer than usual when you’re out of the house.
- Shut down A-C 20 to 30 minutes before you leave home each day.
- Turn on A-C 20 to 30 minutes before you come home each day.
- Reduce the cooling 60 minutes before you go to sleep each night.
- Increase cooling about 30 minutes before you wake up each morning.
- Spend time tweaking your program for a few days to make sure it feels right.