Pin Me

How Programmable Thermostats Save Money

written by: KimberLeo•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 1/16/2012

Programmable thermostats save money all year long, regardless of whether you are trying to save money on a heating bill or cooling bill.

  • slide 1 of 4

    Energy Savings

    More energy is required to reduce or increase internal home temperatures. The more energy you use, the more you pay. Plain and simple. The cost Proper programming saves money. of utilities is constantly rising with the average household in American spending at least $2,200 each year for electricity according to Energy Star. It is estimated that nearly half of monthly energy costs are spent on either heating the home in winter or cooling it in summer months. Homeowners can reduce monthly and annual energy expenditures by maintaining ideal energy settings. Programmable thermostats save money for thousands of homes and help reduce overall energy consumption on top of costs.

  • slide 2 of 4

    How It Works

    Programmable thermostats reduce energy costs because you no longer need to closely monitor, and possibly forget, to adjust the thermostat when a desired temperature is achieved. There are setpoint temperatures for both heating and cooling mechanisms. What this means is if the setpoint for heat drops below a specified temperature, say below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, your heater turns on. If the household temperature rises above the setpoint for cooling, the air conditioner turns on. More sophisticated thermostats save money more effectively by adjusting the day and night setpoints. The adjustments can keep the home in less than ideal temperatures during the day when everyone is out or make adjustments for evening and sleeping schedules.

  • slide 3 of 4

    Ideal Settings

    Energy Star has recommended setpoint times and temperatures to maximize energy cost savings. Energy Star recommends four trigger points for both heating and cooling scheduled setpoints. All suggested temperatures are expressed in degrees Fahrenheit.

    Start the heating schedule at 6:00 a.m. at 70 degrees F or less. At 8:00 a.m. the setting threshold should be setback at least 8 degrees F going back to the 70 degrees or less at 6:00 p.m.. The final setpoint for heating should be at 10:00 p.m. with a setback of at least 8 degrees F.

    The cooling schedule follows the same threshold schedule times of 6:00 a.m., 8:00 a.m., 6:00 p.m., and 10:00 p.m.. The wake-up threshold at 6:00 a.m. should be 78 degrees or greater with a setup threshold of at least 7 degrees at 8:00 a.m. In the evening, the threshold should return to 78 degrees or greater until 10:00 p.m. where the setup should be at least 4 degrees.

    The setback and setup points change the thermostat sensor points to less optimal room temperatures during periods when family members are less likely to be home. So during a winter day while you are at work, the setback point changes the heating sensor to 62 degrees or less, whereas in the summer cooling periods while you sleep, the sensors turn the air conditioner on at 82 degrees.

    Sticking to your settings is a key factor in using programmable thermostats. Turning it up or down manually throughout the day risks altering the settings, requires more energy to continually adjust the room temperature and keeps you from acclimating to the home environment. Get in the habit of keep the home cooler in the winter and using a sweater when inside to help further reduce energy costs.

  • slide 4 of 4


    Energy Star:

    Photo Caption: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Andy Butkaj;