Outsmart Your Thermostat For Each Season

With the ever-changing Texas seasons, it is important to fluctuate our thermostats accordingly to stay on top of our electric bill. According to a study done by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, nearly 90% of Americans say that they have never programmed their thermostat, simply because they don't know how.

Programming your thermostat is actually very simple and can save Americans at least 10% a year on heating and cooling costs. You can achieve that 10% by turning your thermostat back by 7-10 degrees F from its normal setting for 8 hours a day, according to the U.S Department of Energy.

The first step is to pick the right thermostat tailored to your needs. There are four types of programmable thermostats that each include a distinctive scheduling style. 

  • 7-day programming. Best for individuals or families with erratic schedules, since this is the most flexible option. It lets you program a different heating/cooling schedule for each day of the week. 
  • 5-1-1 programming. One heating/cooling schedule for the week, plus you can schedule a different heating/cooling plan for Saturday and Sunday.
  • 5-2 programming. Same as 5-1-1 programming, except Saturday and Sunday will have the same heating/cooling plan.
  • 1-week programming. You can only set one heating/cooling plan that will be repeated daily for the entire week.

Second, change the factory settings. Most thermostats come programmed with settings that are supposedly designed for the typical American family. This step is important to tailor it to your families specific needs and schedule. 

The Department of Energy suggests the following settings as an energy-saving rule of thumb:

Winter months:

  • For the hours you’re home and awake, program the temp to 68°F.
  • Lower at least 10 degrees for the hours you’re asleep or out of the house.

Summer months:

  • For the hours you’re home, program air conditioning to 78°F.
  • For the days you don’t need cooling, manually shut off the AC. Keep in mind, it will kick back on if the house gets too warm.
  • Program it to be warmer than usual when you’re out of the house.

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