Saving money on utility bills is a matter of learning to efficiently use your appliances, including your HVAC system. By cultivating habits of conservation such as setting your thermostat to a milder temperature, particularly when your home is empty, you’re likely to be impressed by how much you could lower your energy consumption. Wise use of a programmable thermostat can be one of your most powerful tools to keep you comfortable while you are home, and save you money when you’re not. For larger homes, closing vents to rooms that are infrequently used is also helpful.
The Proper Way to Program a Thermostat
Wise use is the key to using your programmable thermostat to lower HVAC costs by up to 15% per year. Frequent adjustments or “fiddling” with the thermostat can actually end up costing you more money, so set up a program that meets your family’s needs and leave it alone. Many programmable thermostats have a weekday and weekend setting, while some give you up to seven different daily program patterns for families with erratic schedules. Follow these basic principles when programming your device:
- Set the default winter temperature to 68 degrees for anytime you are awake in your home. For summer cooling, use 78 degrees as a starting point.
- For each heating day your home will be empty for 8 hours or more, set the device to lower the temperature of your home by 10 to 15 degrees, starting 20 to 30 minutes before you leave the house until 20 to 30 minutes before your expected return time to allow the house to return to a comfortable temperature.
- During the summer season, program your thermostat to turn the A/C off 20-30 minutes before you leave and have it kick back on 30 minutes before your return.
- To save money while you sleep, program your device down to 60 degrees beginning an hour before you go to bed and have it warm the house back up 30 minutes before you awaken during cooler months of the year. When running the A/C, if you prefer a cooler home while you sleep, you’ll be pleased to learn that the evening hours are actually a very efficient time to use your A/C, so feel free to turn it down to 72 degrees while you slumber.
If your home isn’t currently equipped with a programmable thermostat, you can have one installed by a thermostat installation professional at reasonable costs.
More Energy Saving Ideas
If you live in a large home where some of the rooms are infrequently used, closing the vents and doors in those rooms is an excellent way to reduce energy costs. Make sure you have good weather stripping around all of your doors, and consider upgrading older windows if yours don’t have energy efficient, double pane glass. And during those times of the year when the weather is perfect outside, turn off the heater or A/C and open up the windows! You’ll love the feeling of fresh air while saving money at the same time.
Cultivate a Mindset of Conservation
Overall, saving money on utility costs is really about cultivating a mindset towards energy conservation. For more great tips and products to help you reduce your bills even further, contact the professionals at Service First Air Conditioning and Heating today.