Installing programmable thermostats in your Houston area home is an excellent start toward energy efficiency, but only if each thermostat is set properly. The wise use of programmable thermostats begins with correct selection, based on your home-time habits.
Since programmable thermostats are more sophisticated than the old electro-mechanical versions, they generally are available in three different models, based on your typical schedule:
- Thermostats called 5+2-day models give you four weekday settings (morning, empty house, afternoon and overnight) plus a schedule for both weekend days together
- The 5-1-1 models give you a weekday schedule (four settings per day), a Saturday schedule, and a Sunday schedule (also four settings for each day); this is best if your weekend routine differs from Saturday to Sunday
- The models known as 7-day units provide the greatest flexibility, allowing four settings per day for each of seven days; this is ideal if your weekend routines vary and your weekday schedules change day to day as well.
If you treat programmable thermostats as simple replacements for the old devices with their bimetal coil and mercury-filled glass bulb, you will not gain any energy efficiency. Consult your trustworthy HVAC technician about setting the units for maximum energy efficiency, beginning with these recommended settings:
- At wake and afternoon times, when your Houston-area home is busy, set the air conditioning for 76 degrees; set heat for 68 degrees
- When the house is empty (everyone is at work or school), set the air conditioning for 86 degrees and the heat for 58 degrees; this 10-degree difference for long periods accomplishes your energy savings
- For overnight (when no one will be aware of the change), set air conditioning a few degrees higher in the summer and lower in the winter.
- For vacations, use the thermostats’ “Hold” feature to gain efficiency and savings.
Maximize energy efficiency with programmable thermostats by creating setback temperatures that are at least 10 degrees above and below desired cooling and heating, and keep those temperatures for at least eight hours. For more energy-efficiency tips, please contact us at ACS Absolute Comfort.
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