Choosing The Right Programmable Thermostate Will Help You Save

by Michal on May 29, 2009

Programmable Thermostat

One of the easiest ways to save money and energy in your home is to use a programmable thermostat. The average household spends $2,200 a year on energy bills and half of that goes towards heating and cooling. By properly setting a programmable thermostat you could save about $180 a year on your energy bill.

An Energy Star qualified programmable thermostat offers four programmable settings to regulate your homes temperature in the summer and winter and when you are asleep and away. By maintaining the settings you will see a decrease in the amount of energy used without sacrificing comfort. The key to using a programmable thermostat is to establish your settings so your heating and cooling is automatically reduced when you don’t need it as much. It sounds simple, but in the long run it will save you money and also help reduce global warming.

There are many different brands of programmable thermostats available, but it is recommended to choose one that is Energy Star qualified. Energy Star thermostats come preprogrammed with suggested temperatures and set point times, however, you can adjust these settings if they don't coincide with your schedule. Below shows the preprogrammed settings to give you an idea of how it works.

energystar-recommended

When choosing a programmable thermostat you should pick one that best works with your schedule. There are three models to choose from: 7-day models, 5+2-day models, and 5-1-1 models.

  • 7-day models are best if your daily schedule tends to change, say, if children are at home earlier on some days. They give you the most flexibility, and let you set different programs for different days — usually with four possible temperature periods per day.
  • 5+2-day models use the same schedule every weekday, and another for weekends.
  • 5-1-1 models are best if you tend to keep one schedule Monday through Friday and another schedule on Saturdays and Sundays.

  • As you can see, you should consider your schedule before making your purchase so you find one that works best for your household. Amazon has a wide selection of programmable thermostats to choose from. Three top models that have ranked well and are Energy Star approved are Honeywell RTH6400D, Hunter 44550 and Lux Products TX9000TS. These thermostats are all reasonably priced and will pay for themselves before you know it. You might have your thermostat be professionally installed and generally that can cost you a few hundred dollars, but it all depends on your current set up. However, once installed you will start regulating your energy usage right away and start saving.

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