Programmable thermostats in your Charlottesville area home are a good step toward increased energy efficiency and lower utility bills year-round. You also need to know how to set the thermostats for balanced comfort and conservation.
In the Zone
If you already have zoned heating and cooling, be sure to set each programmable thermostat to accurately reflect each zone’s use. In seldom-used areas such as the basement or guest room, you may be able to keep the programmable thermostats in those zones on “vacation” or “hold” settings. This means higher temperatures in summer (as much as 86 degrees) and lower settings (as low as 60 degrees) in winter.
If you don’t already have zoned heating and cooling, consult your HVAC contractor about the benefits and costs of installing programmable thermostats in zones to control each area separately. This improves energy efficiency and makes your whole home more comfortable.
Programmable thermostats help you create a setpoint, or desired temperature, for each period in your day. These periods are based on occupancy and activity, and often include the period when occupants wake up, when the house is empty during daytime hours, when the house is occupied in the evening and when everyone’s asleep.
In summer, create setpoints for the programmable thermostat to cool your home to 76 or 78 degrees when people are up and aware. (The higher the setpoint, the more money you save.) For empty house and overnight times, allowing the temperature to rise by as much as 10 degrees will lead to real savings in electricity.
The strategy that combines comfort and economy is to set the programmable thermostat to go down to your occupied-house temperature a short time before your arrival. So if you usually have a full house at 6:30 p.m., program the system for 76 degrees at 6 p.m. and when you arrive, your home will be on its way to the desired temperature. Similarly, if you’re in bed by 10:30 p.m., let the programmable thermostat begin the climb to 84 or 86 degrees at 10 p.m.
For more guidance in selecting and using programmable thermostats for your Charlottesville area home, contact us at W.E. Brown, Inc.