Programmable Thermostat Ground Rules | Columbia Heating & Cooling
Written by Columbia Heating & Cooling

Programmable Thermostat Ground Rules

Programmable thermostats allow you to control your comfort around the clock while curbing your energy usage and reducing your heating and cooling costs. If you’re considering a programmable thermostat for your home, or have already made the purchase, we’ve put together a list of ground rules to help you reach maximum efficiency.

1. Consider Placement

Vents and other sources of air flow can impair your thermostat from accurately reading the temperature of your home. Consider this before choosing where to install your thermostat.

2. Focus on Occupied Spaces

Why waste valuable (and expensive) energy heating or cooling unoccupied spaces in your home? Programmable thermostats can empower you to heat and cool only the high traffic zones of your home through zoning and motion and temperature sensors.

3. Schedule Your Thermostat

Programmable thermostats enable you to set temperatures that align with your schedule. Are you and your family home for a brief amount of time in the mornings? Do you work from home? How much time is spent in your house on the weekends? Consider your weekday and weekend routines as you program to ensure savings. Find a neutral temperature that can be held for an average of eight hours (likely when you’re at work or sleeping) to reduce the energy output of your HVAC, and ultimately save more on heating and cooling costs!

4. Avoid Radical Temperature Changes

Many of us have a tendency to crank up the heat or drop our thermostats to freezing temps when we want to get comfortable quickly. However, HVAC units are designed to pump out enough air to heat or cool a specific amount of square footage, which means setting your system for radical temperatures will only result in a hotter or colder house (but not in haste) and a higher energy bill.

Programmable systems will start to heat up or cool down your house before you walk in the door to make sure you’re cozy upon arrival. Avoid super warm or exceedingly chilly settings if you don’t truly want them. Think about what will be pleasant for you and your family and allow your thermostat to take care of the rest.

5. Temporarily Override Scheduling

Establishing a predictable schedule for your thermostat is ideal – but there are bound to be occasions that call for a little more or a little less out of your HVAC. Programmable thermostats allow you to temporarily deviate from typical settings without overriding an established rhythm. No need to fret about reprogramming an entire system for a few hours of extra cozy.

6. Plan For Vacation

In addition to your day to day, thermostats allow you to plan for vacation. Generally, you’ll find two setting types on a programmable thermostat: Temporary and hold/vacation/permanent. If you’re planning to be away for an extended period of time, use the ‘vacation/hold’ settings to maintain a constant temperature. Setting temperatures similar to the outdoors is ideal when no one will be home. No need to make your HVAC work hard in an empty house.

7. Change Batteries

Change your thermostat batteries once a year. These serve as the brain to your HVAC system. When the batteries don’t work, you lose control over the heating and cooling of your home. We recommend getting into the habit of replacing the batteries at the beginning of every warm or cool season.

8. Test for Success

Remember that your new thermostat is adjustable, and that you may not find the perfect settings for your home on the first try! Test until you discover the best schedule for you and your family. Once you figure out the key to your comfort, set your thermostat and watch as your energy bill shrink!

Check out this visual step by step walkthrough for setting up a programmable thermostat by Energy Star.

If you’re in the market for a programmable thermostat, the professionals at Columbia Heating and Cooling are here to help! We offer FREE programmable thermostats with any all-new installation. Give us a call for a free replacement quote to get one step closer to total comfort.