Programmable thermostats save about $200 a year on average according to Energy Star. If you don’t have one, here’s why it’s worth the small amount of your time and (quickly recouped) expense. And you can install it yourself, really.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates a “10% annual savings on your heating and cooling bills by simply turning your thermostat back 10°–15° for eight hours.” A programmable thermostat does that for you automatically, turning the heat down while you’re sleeping under all those cozy blankets and reducing A/C usage while you’re away at work. You’ll see the savings without noticing the difference.
Yes, you’ll spend a little money buying the thermostat, but that should be under $100; and it’ll pay for itself in the first year. And since you, or a handy friend or spouse, can install it (click here for a video on how to do it) in less than 30 minutes, you quickly start saving money.
Program the thermostat for when you’re asleep, for when the house is empty. And then don’t think about it again, really.