How A Programmable Thermostat Lowers Your Utility Bills

programmable thermostatHeating and cooling are your biggest energy expense, making up nearly half of your utility bill. Your thermostat controls the temperature of your home and your comfort. It’s the control panel everyone runs to when they’re too hot or too cold. The type of thermostat you have in your home makes a big difference in the price you pay for utilities. A programmable thermostat is one of the best ways to lower your utility bills.

How programmable thermostats save money

Want an easy way to lower your Maryland heating bill this winter? Buy a programmable thermostat.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy,  a programmable thermostat can cut heating and cooling bills by as much as 10%. That’s if you use it properly! It won’t save you money on it’s own.

Like regular thermostats, programmable thermostats regulate the temperature of the heating or air conditioning in your home. These thermostats, however, allow you to pre-program several temperature settings for different times of the day. That’s the key to saving energy.

For example, you can set the thermostat for a lower or higher temperature while you are away at work, and then program it so that it changes automatically to your desired temperature once you are on your way home.

By turning your thermostat back for eight hours, you can save as much as 1% for every degree, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. So if your thermostat is typically set at 73 and you dial it back to 63 as you sleep, you can expect savings as much as 10%.

It’s simple physics, explains Energy Vanguard blogger Allison Bailes. “The rate of heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter depends on the temperature difference between inside and outside. When you get those two temperatures closer together, your HVAC system doesn’t have to run as much.”

If your HVAC doesn’t run as much, you save money on your utility bills.

Plus, you won’t sacrifice Whole-Home Comfort, because you’ll adjust the temperature while you’re at work or sleeping.

Programmable thermostats are getting smarter. You can buy as sophisticated a thermostat as you want. As long as you can program it you’ll save money without sacrificing comfort.

Smart programmable thermostats often offer remote capabilities, such as changing settings or temperatures directly from your smartphone or computer. This is a great benefit if you leave the house wondering if you forgot to turn down the air conditioning or heat.

Should I set my thermostat to fan or auto?

Now that you have a programmable thermostat that will save you money, do you set it to fan or auto? “Auto” is the way to go.

When you turn your fan to the on position, it runs constantly regardless of your temperature setting. In the summer, the humidity levels to rise to make your home a breeding ground for mold and mildew. The higher relative humidity will also significantly decrease the comfort of your home.

Additional disadvantages of leaving your thermostat set to “Fan-On” include:

  1. Higher energy bills
  2. Decreased efficiency
  3. Increased air leakage

So do yourself a favor and leave your thermostat set to “Auto.” It is best for you, your home, and your HVAC system.

Whole-Home Comfort

While a programmable thermostat lowers your utility bill, it’s one piece of your Whole-Home Comfort. Your bills won’t lower as much as they could if other heating and cooling systems in your home don’t work effectively.

Minnick’s is a pioneer in Whole-Home Comfort.

Your HVAC system, ductwork, and insulation also play a role in the efficiency of your equipment, how you feel at home and your utility bills.

If you’re experiencing high utility bills, rooms that are too hot or too cold, or overall discomfort at home an energy audit will find solutions.

It’s important to look at how all the systems in your home work together to achieve the best energy efficiency and the lowest utility bills.

smart maintenanceSmart Maintenance

A programmable thermostat works great with Smart Maintenance. The smart technology detects up to 80-percent of HVAC issues before they happen.

Minnick’s HVAC technician places ten custom sensors throughout your HVAC system. Each month, the sensors check your system’s performance. Plus, you’ll get urgent HVAC alerts so you know about a heating or cooling problem before it happens.

A programmable thermostat is a cheap way to start lowering your utility bills. With Smart Maintenance, you’ll get monthly energy use reports detailing, even more, ways to save energy!