If your latest energy bill was larger than you expected and you are now looking for a strategy to make the next one a little more palatable then it might be time to examine the settings on your thermostat. You no doubt know the feeling of jumping out of a nice warm bed and feeling the cold air of a frosty morning. It’s always tempting to tweak that thermostat just a little bit higher than it needs to be to dispel the chill, but stop and think for a moment.
The fact is that setting the thermostat higher than it needs to be is just a knee jerk reaction to the cold — and it is costing you money. What you should really be doing is allowing yourself some time to adjust to the new temperature outside of a nice warm bed. You can avoid any unnecessary tweaking of the thermostat by removing the temptation altogether and install a programmable thermostat. With one of these you can have the ideal thermostat settings throughout the day. Set it once to accommodate the needs and habits of everyone in the household and then never think about it again — at least until the season changes.
The ideal thermostat settings will change throughout the day. If the day for the household starts at 6.30 am you would set the thermostat to start raising the temperature to 68°F at 6.00 am, about half an hour before everybody rises. This gives the house time to warm up so climbing out of the sheets is not such a shock to the system.
At 8.00 am everyone is out of the house so the thermostat reduces to 56°F for about 8 hours, which dramatically reduces energy consumption. At around 4.30 pm people start returning home. Walking into a frosty house can increase the temptation to raise the temperature higher than required, but with an automatic device the temperature sets itself to 68°F a half an hour before the earliest arrival so the house is now quite comfortable. This strategy alone can easily save 5% to 15% off the household energy bill per year.
At 10.30 pm it’s time for bed and seeing as everyone will be bundled up in their nice warm bedclothes the thermostat can be lowered accordingly to 56°F for the rest of the night. When it reaches 6.00 am the cycle then starts all over again.
Programming a thermostat at the beginning of the season like this can provide dramatic cost savings to the household energy bill. Heat changes are slow and steady with no sudden spikes to increase the load on energy consumption. Of course, these are only suggestions as every household is different and you will need to take individual family member’s needs into consideration when devising settings for your thermostat. If you need to know more then check out our website for even more ideas on using your thermostat efficiently.