You can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to 68° F when you are at home and awake, and lowering it when you are asleep or away. This strategy is effective and inexpensive if you are willing to adjust the thermostat by hand and wake up in a chilly house. In the summer, you can follow the same strategy with central air conditioning, too, by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are away, and lowering the thermostat setting to 78 ° F only when you are at home and need cooling.


Another misconception is that the lower you set a thermostat, the more cool air will be produced, or the home will cool down faster if the thermostat is lowered. Air conditioners put out the same amount of cool air no matter how high the thermostat is set, the variable is how long it must stay on to reach the set temperature.


In the summer, you can achieve energy savings by keeping the indoor temperature a bit higher when you are away than you do when you are at home. Then program the thermostat so it will allow the home to cool to your desired temperature, just before you arrive home.


Programmable thermostats have features with which you may be unfamiliar. The newest generation of residential thermostat technologies is based on microprocessors and thermistor sensors. Most of these programmable thermostats perform one or more of the following energy control functions:


  • They store and repeat multiple daily settings, which you can manually override without affecting the rest of the daily or weekly program.
  • They store six or more temperature settings a day.
  • They adjust heating or air conditioning turn-on times as the outside temperature changes.

Most programmable thermostats have liquid crystal temperature displays. Some have back-up battery packs that eliminate the need to reprogram the time or clock in case of a power failure.

Before you buy a programmable thermostat, chart your weekly habits including wake up and departure times, return home times, and bedtimes, and the temperatures that are comfortable during those times. This will help you decide what type of thermostat will best serve your needs. You can also contact us and we can advise you on what type of thermostat is right for you.