March 2011
Adjust Your Savings With a Programmable Thermostat

Driving to work and then letting your car run all day isn't smart. Neither is leaving your furnace on at home when you are away.

Don't let your system work to keep an empty house comfortable. It makes more sense (and cents) to install a programmable thermostat for maximum efficiency.

Heating and cooling is the largest portion of your energy bill, and that's where you should start to cut costs. A programmable thermostat allows you to automatically raise and lower the temperature setting even when you are not at home. To reduce energy waste, periodically adjust the thermostat settings to accommodate for changing seasons.

It's as simple as entering a day of the week, start time, end time and temperature.

Most units are equipped with four periods: wake, leave, return and sleep. This allows temperature adjustments for various times of day.

If you have more than one unit that heats and cools your home, installing a programmable thermostat on each will mean more efficiency.

A new programmable thermostat costs between $30 and $100. Considering every degree you cut back over an eight hour period can reduce your energy bill around three to five percent, the unit will pay for itself in no time.

Before you shop, identify your heating and cooling system. Furnaces require a different thermostat than heat pumps.

As with many electronics, different levels of features are available. Here are a few you can look for when shopping for your new unit:

  • Optional weekend settings
  • Remote access (Wi-Fi)
  • Touch screen
  • Energy saving setting
  • Vacation setting
  • Change filter indicator
  • Mercury free technology

(Click on image to visit energystar.com)

Look for an Energy Star
rated thermostat for the
most energy-efficient units.

Suggested Programmable Thermostat
Setpoint Times and Temperatures



Setpoint Temp.

Setpoint Temp.

6 a.m.
Less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit
Greater than 78 degrees Fahrenheit
8 a.m.
Lower at least 8 degrees Fahrenheit
Raise at least 7 degrees Fahrenheit
6 p.m.
Less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit
Greater than 78 degrees Fahrenheit
10 p.m.
Lower at least 8 degrees Fahrenheit
Raise at least 4 degrees Fahrenheit

Read other articles from The Walton EMC Gasette:
Gas Up the Stove With a Heathly Salad

Help Prevent Gas Emergencies