Choosing the Right Thermostat for Energy Efficiency – Which Thermostat is Right For You?
Our homes are our castles, where we deserve to feel warm (or cool) and comfortable all year round. But for most of us, comfort is not our only concern, especially when heating and cooling can often be one of our largest monthly home expenses. And while an efficient system is the first step, finding the right thermostat can help you manage your comfort and efficiency easily all year long.
Types of Thermostats
Manual – Most of us grew up with a manual thermostat. These are typically found in older home and simply include a needle that you move up or down to set your preferred temperature. While they are the most economical option and include simple controls, they don’t have any “energy saving” features.
Programmable - A programmable unit allows you to set a schedule with different temperatures for based on the day and time. The more robust models allow you to set weekend controls versus weekday settings, allowing you to set exact times and temperatures so you are not using the unit at times when no one is home.
Smart Thermostat – The next generation of thermostats has all the programmability of the earlier models, but also are Wi-Fi enabled and connect with other devices so you can control temperature even when you are away from the home.
Keep in mind the model you choose must be compatible with your heating and cooling system. Consult your heating and cooling professionals before upgrading to make sure your system is compatible with the thermostat you want to install.
Tips for Programming Your Thermostat
In the Warmer Months – It is the general recommendation of experts to keep your home’s cooling system set at 78 degrees Fahrenheit. If you will be out of the home for a significant period, four hours or more, consider turning the setting to a higher temperature to keep the system from cooling an empty house.
In the Cooler Months – Experts suggest keeping your home at 68 degrees Fahrenheit while you are home.
Turning it Down – Energy.gov estimates that if you lower your thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees during an 8 hour day you will see as much as a 5 to 15% decrease on your energy usage in a month.
Keep it Away from Hot or Cool Spots – Install your thermostat away from areas that might throw off the temperature readings. Lighting areas, other appliances, fireplaces, skylights, anything that might alter the temperature should be kept away from the thermostat for the most accurate readings.
Change the Batteries – Change the batteries yearly, or when the unit indicates a change is needed. Proper power ensures that your thermostat runs at optimum efficiency.
A properly installed and programmed thermostat is just one piece of your overall system. Make sure your home stays your castle-- with just the right thermostat and the right settings, you can get all the comfort you deserve.
Amber Henning is a home owner, digital marketer and writer for several HVAC and Plumbing companies, such as Knight Plumbing. She creates articles and blog posts to help small business professionals and home owners make the most out of their resources and make decisions to make their lives easier and better in the long run.