What Should I Set My Thermostat at to Save Money?
Did you know that nine out of ten Americans say they rarely—or never—program their thermostat? That’s mostly due to the fact that they’re just not certain how to do it.
If you’re in that big majority, we recommend you spend a little time in the coming weeks to learn how to set your thermostat. It’s going to save you money! Why pass that opportunity by?
Managing the temperature of your home with a programmable thermostat is one of the easiest ways to save about 10 percent on your annual energy costs. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat and still rely on an old manual one, we suggest you look into installing one this season. When used correctly, a programmable thermostat will pay for itself quickly and potentially save you hundreds of dollars in energy bills in the years ahead.
Once you get a handle on using your programmable thermostat— such as knowing how to pre-set the times you want the temperature setting to change—follow these suggestions from the U.S Department of Energy.
- Save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to 68° while you’re awake and setting it lower while you’re asleep or away from home. (Going below 60° for an extended period is not recommended.)
- In the summer, you can follow the same strategy with central air conditioning by keeping your home warmer than normal when you are away. Set the thermostat to 78° only when you are at home and need cooling to stay comfortable. Set your thermostat higher when you’re away from home.
Note: If you have Wi-Fi programmable thermostat, you can control your home’s temperature from your smartphone.
When should I replace my thermostat?
Like any home comfort equipment, your thermostat has a shelf life– and when it fails, your home heating equipment won’t work. Be on the lookout for these symptoms, which may be a sign that your thermostat needs to be replaced.
- The air is too cool – If you have a furnace and you feel cool air coming from your vents in heat mode, this could indicate that your thermostat isn’t properly engaging with your HVAC system. If you have a boiler, the same holds true with your radiators and baseboards: if they’re not getting warm, your thermostat could be to blame.
- Your thermostat display won’t light – If you have checked your thermostat battery and still notice that its display isn’t lit, this could mean the thermostat has failed.
- Excessive cycling – If your heating system starts and stops (“cycles”) repeatedly, it could mean your thermostat is wearing out. Of course, it could mean other things, too, which is why you should contact a heating professional to take a look.
- Equipment won’t start /won’t stop running – If your heating system won’t start – or won’t stop running – your thermostat could be at the root of the problem.
Remember, your heating starts and stops with your thermostat.
Looking for other ways to save on your monthly heating bills this fall and winter?
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