You have likely heard that a programmable thermostat can save you money on energy bills. Just installing such a thermostat will not bring the savings you want. To see the energy savings, you need to know how to use a programmable thermostat properly. Below are some tips on managing a programmable thermostat to see the most savings possible.

Determine Your Family’s Normal Schedule

To do this, answer the following questions:

  • When does the first person in your family normally get up in the morning?
  • When does the last person leave the house for work or school?
  • When does the first person return?
  • When does the last person go to bed?
  • Do these times vary on the weekends?

The answers you have for those questions will guide you toward the schedule to use with the thermostat.

Determine What Temperatures You Want When the Family Is Home

In the summer, most energy-efficiency experts recommend leaving the air conditioning at 78 degrees or higher. When not at home, the temperature should be 7 degrees higher. In winter, that temperature should be 68 to 70 when you are at home, and 7 degrees lower when you are not. Nighttime sleep temperatures should be adjusted to family comfort levels, though typically that’s several degrees lower (or higher in the summer) than your usual temperature.

Set the Schedule and Temperatures in the Thermostat

Use the manufacturer’s instructions to set up the schedule. You will set the wake time and temperature, the away time and temperature, the return time and temperature, and the sleep time and temperature. You will do each of these four things for week days and weekends.

When away for more than a day, use the “hold” feature to keep the temperature at the away level while you are gone. It is best practice not to override the programmed settings, unless there is a specific reason, like being home on a day off.

If you follow these tips on managing a programmable thermostat, you should see your energy use go down. For more help with managing your home’s comfort level, please contact us at Senica Air Conditioning, Inc. Inc. We have been serving the Tampa-St. Petersburg area since 1992.

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