Did you know that about 50% of the money you spend on utility bills goes on heating or cooling your home? Considering the average household uses energy for all sorts of other things like lighting and water usage, not to mention running all the various electrical appliances you have, this is a pretty shocking statistic.
Lots of us shy away from upgrading to a programmable thermostat for a variety of reasons. It could be that your “techno shy”, or you think your current system won’t support a programmable thermostat. However, it’s pretty easy to find thermostats that help you save money, and they don’t have to be a technological nightmare to install!
How They Work
Explaining how they work could get a bit complicated because manufacturers are constantly developing new devices that will help keep your energy bills down, and with that comes more advancement in technology. So, let’s start with a simple way of making sure you stay comfortable but don’t have to worry too much about what your thermostat is up to.
A basic programmable thermostat will allow you to program a heating and cooling schedule in. This can be the same every day of the week, and within each day you can choose temperatures that suit certain times. It’s as simple as that. Once programmed, the thermostat will do everything for you. Your system will come on at the time you choose and switch up, down or off when needed.
The more complex designs will also reduce the amount of energy you use, but they offer more flexibility and an even further reduction in what you spend. For instance, you can buy thermostats that will allow you to remotely access your system when you’re away from home or the office. So in case something unexpected comes up and you’re not coming home at the time you programmed your system to turn on, you can override the program so it won’t turn on yet.
From your desktop or mobile device, it’s possible even to amend the settings so your system can adapt to things like the local weather or humidity levels. Having this option is particularly useful if an unexpected heat wave occurs and you want to switch your system off.
Some models will also tell you how much energy you’re using and what you can do with your schedule to enhance energy use by analyzing things like local weather conditions, how large your building is and how much activity there is – clever huh?
So, How Much Money Can You Save
This all depends on how complex the thermostat you have is, and it goes without saying the more advanced the technology used the more you save. However, even the most basic programmable thermostats could save you in excess of 15% on your energy bills.
The more intricate models can save you anything up to 20% (and more) and this is all down to the fact they help you run your HVAC system more efficiently, without compromising on overall comfort. So if you’re currently paying 2000 dollar a year on gas and electric, this means you can save between $300 and $400 after installing a programmable thermostat. That’s more than the price of the unit!
Another point worth thinking about is the amount of stress you put on your heating and cooling system. The more efficiently it runs, the less stress there is and that can only mean it will last longer.
In short, having a programmable thermostat installed in your home is a win-win situation. Even if you do spend more on the unit initially, it will pay for itself in no time.