The HVAC systems in our homes are under additional stress during the hotter summer months to keep our homes comfortable. Regular annual maintenance before the cooling season begins is a great way to get your system ready, but there are other factors to consider. One aspect of summer cooling that is often overlooked by homeowners is the programming of their thermostats. The required amount of temperature cooling and schedules are very different during different seasons. For this reason, it’s a good idea to take some time to adjust your programmable thermostat to improve home comfort and energy efficiency. And if you are not sure how to program your thermostat, be sure to contact your HVAC company.
Programmable Thermostats Facts
First, it’s important to mention that if you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, it’s a worthy upgrade to your cooling system. Upgrading is very cost effective, and it will make a drastic difference to your energy consumption over the year. A recent study conducted by Energy Star found that a typical home using a programmable thermostat wisely could save $180 annually on their energy bills.
There are many different types of programmable thermostats available, but they tend to have three basic schedules that you can choose from, they are 7 days, 5+2 days and a 5-1-1 day. Essentially these options are a simple reference for the ability to set a different program for every day, weekdays and weekends, or weekdays with a separate Saturday and Sunday setting. Even an entry level programmable thermostat will allow you to set up at least four different temperature adjustments each day. Learning how to optimize these settings for your home is the key to maintaining indoor comfort and improving energy efficiency at the same time.
Programming Your Thermostat
For many homes, the typical cooling schedule for summer would look something like this.
- The First Temperature Adjustment
The initial temperature adjustment will usually take place in the morning at around the time when the household starts to wake up. For optimal results and efficiency take the time of the earliest riser and program the temperature to adjust 15 minutes earlier. This will allow the whole household to wake up to a comfortable home and help them to get ready for the day ahead.
- The Empty Home
In many cases, the home is vacant for the day, but some cooling may still be required for pets and occasional early returns. Set the temperatures to rise by 10-15℉, and if this continues for 8 hours or longer you could save 1% in energy costs for every degree you set your thermostat back.
- The Return Home
If you want to return to a comfortable home set the thermostat to return to your optimal indoor temperature 15 minutes prior to the earliest anticipated arrival.
- Getting Ready for Sleep
Many homes have a regular sleep schedule, and this is a perfect time to adjust the indoor temperature. Choose your ideal temperature for comfortable sleeping and program the thermostat to change to it 15 minutes before bedtime. Set the temperatures back as much as possible to save money without compromising your comfort.