Tired of heating an empty house or building? With a programmable thermostat you can set back your heating system to lower temperatures when your space is unoccupied and then back to your comfort temperature before you return.
According to Energy Star, an appropriately scheduled and maintained programmable thermostat can save a home $180 per year. That is approximately a 15% savings on what an average household spends on energy for heating and cooling annually. These savings are based on setting your system back by 8 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 hours during the day and 10 hours at night.
The American Gas Association claims that setting your temperature back 10% to 15% for eight hours a day with an automatic setback thermostat can save you up to 10 percent on your heating costs.
While the exact temperatures, degree of setback, and overall savings depend on your system, your comfort, and your presence in the space, savings can definitely be seen from setting back the temperature when the space is unoccupied for an extended period of time. You can save up to 3 percent on your heating bill by turning your thermostat down by one degree.
Installing and using a programmable thermostat is a low cost way to prepare to save on your energy costs this year. When installing a new thermostat be sure to pick the most optimal placement. Try to keep it away from sources of heat or drafts, including electronic equipment, lamps, doorways, windows, and vents.
For those who are technologically savvy or just wish to have optimal control of their system, consider an internet based thermostat. These thermostats allow you to control your system from anywhere you have an internet connection, even from your phone. That way if you are going to be working late, you can postpone the change in temperature at your house to save energy longer. Or a building manager can assist tenants who are working late, past the buildings setback time, by going online from your living room to change the set point for the space, keeping your customer happy and avoiding the after-hours call.
It is important to note that if you use a heat pump, electric resistance heating, steam heat, or radiant floor heating, a standard programmable thermostat is not as advantageous. Special application thermostats are needed in order to be cost effective when setting back the temperature on these systems.
Whether you install a programmable or internet controlled thermostat, you will have one less thing to think about as you leave the house or to be concerned about when you get home. Save energy without exerting any of your own.