The combination of dropping temperatures and rising heating bills makes it the perfect time to check your programmable thermostat settings to make sure you are saving on your heating bills. When properly programmed, these thermostats can save about $200 a year on average according to Energy Star.
The key is to establish a program that automatically reduces heating in your home when you don’t need it as much. During cooler months, the Energy Star website recommends programming the thermostat to be at or below 70 degrees when you’re home and awake and then reduce it by eight degrees when you’re either away or asleep. To see how the savings can add up, the site has a savings calculator that compares annual and life cycle costs and savings of a programmable versus a manual thermostat based on information about your specific household. Other benefits such as air pollution reduction are also shown.
The site also features a video explaining the different types of programmable thermostats including 5-day, 7-day and 5-1-1 models, installation tips and considerations, and setting recommendations such as when to use “hold” and when to override. If you aren’t able to install a programmable thermostat, Energy Star has recommendations for adjusting your manual thermostat when you are asleep and away that will result in savings as well.
Another way to save on your heating bills is to make sure you are getting the best rates. Allconnect is a free online resource to review and compare the costs and choices for essential home services, including utilities, mobile phone service, high speed Internet, phone, cable TV, satellite TV, and home security systems.