According to a study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, about ninety percent of Americans say they’ve rarely (or never) programmed their thermostat because they’re not sure how to do it.
That’s a shame, considering how easy it is and much money it can save you.
In fact, managing the temperature of your home with a thermostat is one of the simplest ways we know to save 10 percent or more on your energy costs – especially with today’s WiFi thermostat models. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, getting one is a smart move: if you use it correctly, it could pay for itself in the first year you own it.
Recommended temperatures for your programmable thermostat
Once you get a handle on using your programmable thermostat, the U.S Department of Energy suggests the following settings for an optimum balance of comfort and savings:
- When you’re home and awake, set the thermostat for 68°F.
- Lower temperatures by 10° for the hours you’re asleep or out of the house EXCEPT on nights when extreme cold is forecast; dropping temperatures too low on these days could potentially lead to a frozen pipe problem.
- When you’re home and awake, program air conditioning to 78°F.
- Program the AC to shut off during the hours you’re out of the house.
- Program heat or A/C to shut off 20-30 minutes before you leave home each day; return them to normal comfort levels 20 to 30 minutes before you come home.*
- Program reductions in heating or cooling to begin 60 minutes before you go to sleep; return them to normal comfort levels 30 minutes before you awaken.
* If you have wi-fi / wireless thermostat, you can control your home’s temperature from your smartphone.