Will a Programmable Thermostat Help You Save Money?

by Editor on August 12, 2013


Let’s just start by agreeing that there are many tools out there designed to help you cut back on energy consumption in order to do your part for the environment and save a little money in the process, but they are virtually useless if you don’t use them for their intended purpose. For example, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) use about a third of the energy of regular incandescent bulbs. But if you leave them on day and night simply because you know they’re more efficient, you’re not going to save a whole heck of a lot. So when it comes to whether or not a programmable thermostat will save you money, the truth is that it depends entirely upon you and how you use it. CAN a programmable thermostat help to cut your monthly utility bill? Certainly. WILL it? With a couple of tips on how to work the system and a willingness to try, it definitely should.

So the thing to understand about a programmable thermostat, right off the bat, is that it could save you money with little effort on your part simply because it is a digital system. If you’ve been using an antiquated dial up to this point, you’ll quickly realize that digital is far more accurate. Whether you want your home at a comfortable 72 degrees year round or you switch it up depending on the season, you’ll get exactly the temperature you call for with a digital thermostat, whereas a dial can only get you close. And even this minor distinction could deliver a small savings throughout the year over what you were paying before.

Of course, if your family members decide that it is now a lot easier to change the temp thanks to the ability to push a button for the exact number they want, you could find that the bill actually goes up a bit as they fight over what the interior temperature should be, forcing the furnace or AC unit to work overtime. But more likely than not, if you regulate the setting yourself, you’ll start to see at least a small change for the better where your utility bill is concerned.

But that’s not even the best part of the equation. When you program your thermostat properly you stand to curb your energy waste significantly and slash your cost in the process. And depending on the complexity of your system, you may have several options available. At the very least, you should be able to set a schedule that adjusts the temperature in your home in the morning and evening on a daily basis so that you’re not paying to heat or cool your home to a comfortable temperature when you’re at work and the kids are at school.

You may already know that turning the central air off completely is a mistake since it means your equipment has to work overtime to adjust once you get home and crank up the heat or AC. But your programmable thermostat can raise or lower the temperature gradually, saving you energy in the process and ensuring that your home is perfect when you arrive. When it comes to understanding theĀ advantages of a programmable thermostat, this is probably the biggest benefit. But you should also know that many products now offer the option for remote control, as well. So if you overrode the programmed settings last night because it was too hot in the house and forgot to reset the thermostat this morning, all you have to do is open an app on your iPhone and you can rectify the oversight remotely from work.

photo by: AJ Batac

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