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Yay, You Got a Programmable Thermostat. Now What?

Set and forget. That’s the name of the game here. By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to make the most of your programmable thermostat and live in comfort.

First and foremost, a programmable thermostat is a device that detects indoor air temperature which allows the heating and cooling equipment to operate and achieve the best performance and comfort in the home. This device works best on a schedule because it allows you to pre-determine the temperature of your home for a number of days and times throughout the week. Basically, you can set it to adjust the temperature so you’re not wasting energy when no one is home.

As a rule of thumb, the closer your thermostat setting is to the outside temperature, the more you’ll save. To cut down on energy bills, set your temperature to 25.5°C or 78°F in the summer and 20°C or 68°F in the winter. We recommend starting there to find a comfortable temperature and if you’re keen on getting it right quickly, make a note whenever you find yourself needing to increase or decrease the temperature. It’ll make creating the perfect schedule for your programmable thermostat that much easier.

Now for the important part—here are the tips you need to follow so you can avoid making mistakes that can cost you money and enjoy optimal comfort.

Tip #1: Once you find a temperature that works for you, stick to it. If your day’s routine is slightly off schedule and you come back to find the house too hot or cold, resist the urge to crank the thermostat. Wait it out instead. With air conditioners, you can’t make your house cool down any faster, no matter how low of a temperature you set. With heaters, it will heat up faster, but it will cost you more too. In both cases, don’t touch the buttons. Try turning on a fan or putting on an extra layer in the meantime.

Tip #2: Ever been told to just turn the air conditioner or heater on and off? Well, we’re here to let you know that that won’t actually do you any good. By turning it on and off, the system needs to work longer and harder to heat or cool your home because it’s starting from scratch. In the summer, adjust the thermostat’s schedule as the months get hotter instead of turning it off to avoid creating a humidity problem in your home. In the winter, setback your temperature by up to 1 degree celsius or two degrees fahrenheit when you’re not at home.

Tip #3: Take a minute to consider where your thermostat is installed. Is it in a very cold or very warm room? Is it being affected by direct sunlight or drafts from doors and windows or an air vent? This will affect the thermostat from getting a correct read of your home and prevent it from staying at the optimal temperature you’ve set. You can reinstall it to a neutral area such as the living room and away from kitchens, entryways, and windows or replace it with a wireless thermostat.

Tip #4: Are you finding the second floor too hot or the main area too cold? And no matter how many times you adjust the schedule, it just doesn’t seem to make a difference? Most likely, it won’t be fixed by changing the temperature one more time. And that’s because a thermostat only controls when your heating or cooling system turns on and off, not how or where the air travels throughout the home. We recommend a duct cleaning or calling an HVAC expert to evaluate your existing duct system and find the right solution.

Tip #5: Like most things in life, planning ahead can work wonders. So, do it now. Create that schedule. Program your thermostat. And make life at home comfortable.

A programmable thermostat may be a small device, but it makes a big impact on your home comfort.