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Using Your Programmable Thermostat Well
Posted: Dec 19, 2019 by Andy

Don't let that fancy programmable thermostat scare you - it's your best friend, you just don't know it yet!

With all the options available on your programmable thermostat, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Of course, the sheer amount of settings defeats the purpose of a programmable thermostat - it's designed to be a "set and forget" device, making your life easier.

The few minutes it takes to read this article should clear up any confusion you have about correctly setting your thermostat, and you can always call our friendly experts. We're always happy to help!

"Set and forget" means setting one temperature on your thermostat and just leaving it there. You don't worry about it or change it for a long time to come.

Continually adjusting the temperature setting in an attempt to save money on energy actually doesn't save anything. Studies have proven that behavior isn't effective at all, but changing the temperature in different situations actually will save you money, especially in the always-changing northeast Ohio weather.

In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save as much as 10% a year on your energy bills by turning down your thermostat 7° to 10° for eight hours each day.

With a programmable thermostat, "set and forget" takes on a new meaning. You can set your thermostat once to suit your preference and then forget about it until the season changes.

Get comfortable with your thermostat

Depending on the programmable thermostat you have, it will have different options. However, most programmables feature the same four time options: wake, sleep, leave, and return.

Be sure to enter realistic times that accurately reflect your family's schedule when programming your thermostat. You want to get the biggest benefit.

Here are some things to know before programming your schedule:

Use quality, name-brand batteries and change them each year. Cheaper batteries don't last as long, and their voltage output will fluctuate as they start to lose their charge. You want your thermostat to work when you need it most.

Feel free to override your set schedule temporarily and adjust the temperature when needed. It will automatically cancel and resume its regular programming. However, don't select Hold/Permanent/Vacation (this may vary on your thermostat) unless you're actually going on vacation.

Avoid setting the temperature way up or down with the goal of heating or cooling your home more quickly. Your HVAC system doesn't work any faster that way. You'll only work it much harder, costing you more money and potentially causing a breakdown. Your system will heat or cool your home just as fast by setting your thermostat at reasonable temperatures.

Here's how to use your programmable thermostat (and get the most out of it):

1. Read the manual that came with your thermostat. You don't have to memorize it word-for-word, but you should become familiar with your unit's basic operation and troubleshooting.

2. Choose Heat or Cool mode to suit the season and the weather outside.

3. Set the desired temperature for weekdays by selecting the weekday program. Simple, right? Start with Monday (for 7-day models) or Weekday (for 5-2 models) and select the time and temperature for the days you're scheduling. Continue setting the remaining weekdays in the same manner.

For example, you might want your furnace to heat your home to 72° at 7:00 am, so when you awaken at 7:30 am, your home is warm for you. Then, when you turn in at 11:00 pm, you might want to set your heat to 65° at 11:30 pm, so you're saving energy - and money - while you sleep. The same procedure applies for cooling - simply reverse it - warmer when you're away or sleeping and cooler when you're home and awake.

4. You can set the weekend temperatures in the same manner. But, since folks tend to be home more on the weekends, you might only want to set the thermostat for your wake-up and bed times. You can always use a temporary override if you decide to leave the house during the day.

Your programmable thermostat really is designed for you to "set it and forget it." Spending a few minutes getting familiar with it will make your home considerably more comfortable and will also allow you to save quite a bit of money at the same time. Call us or request service online if it's time for a new thermostat or if you need help programming yours. We're here to help. That's how neighbors should treat neighbors!™

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