Do Programmable Thermostats Really Save Money?


When traditional programmable thermostats appeared on the market 20 years ago, they caused strange reactions among many homeowners. People always react surprisingly when a new technology appears on the market, and so it was with this technology. Programmable thermostats indeed have the potential to save the homeowners money, however they can also cost more than normal thermostats. So the question is, can they save money at the end of each month? Lets find out!

Do Programmable Thermostats Really Save Money?

So Do Programmable Thermostats Really Save Money? If the programmable thermostat is adjusted correctly, it could save the homeowner 10-30% energy on heating and cooling per month. The average programmable thermostat cost around $100 and can be paid off in the first year. However, some studies show that if you adjust incorrectly your programmable thermostat, it can consume up to 12% more energy.

Many people don’t know how to use programmable thermostats correctly. Therefore, when you are installing one in your home, it’s important that you educate yourself first, so you can adjust it effectively to save energy and money.

According to Berkeley National Laboratory, only 30% of programmable thermostats are actually adjusted the right way in most homes. Because of that, most of them do not use their full ability to save energy and money in the long run. Although their main purpose is to save money, that idea turned into something that was under-delivered. Now smart thermostats have taken over the market, and they have delivered exactly what programmable thermostats promised.

Is it Worth Getting a Programmable Thermostat?

The main idea of a programmable thermostat is to save energy usage when you are at work or when you sleep. When programmable thermostats are used and set correctly, they can save the homeowner around 10-30% on their cooling and heating bills. But this isn’t easy to achieve.

Such savings can be true in theory; however, more tests and data need to be run to better substantiate these claims. Some studies have shown how programmable thermostats are saving less than they actually claim. Therefore, I would not advise purchasing a programmable thermostat for your home.

According to research and Energy Star, about 55% of home energy is used for heating and cooling. But during the winter and summer, a large portion of that is going to cool and heating the unoccupied spaces. While you sleep, you don’t need the same amount of heating as you need during the day. If you reduce heating in your house by 10 degrees Fahrenheit at night, you will save 10% energy.

Smart Thermostats – Game Changers in Home Heating

Although programmable thermostats are a thing of the past, and smart thermostats have taken over the market, it would be wise for you to get one too. It has never been easier to set a thermostat in your home where it can control the temperature and save energy at the same time. The main advantage is its flexibility.

If you have schedules that vary depending on the day of the week, or you don’t understand your energy bills, the smart thermostat can help. Indeed, via the dedicated remote control application (available on your smartphones and tablets), you can, thanks to this type of thermostat, make your interior temperature settings in real-time. Very handy when you finish work early or decide to spend the evening with friends! This also allows you to save energy consumption.

A decrease of 3℃ over an eight hour period can reduce heating costs by up to 4 to 5%.

Programmable Thermostats Are Not Flexible

We all live at an accelerated pace, and our schedule changes frequently, and so does the time we spend at home. Therefore, smart thermostats are the best solution to keep our home warm, even when we are not at home. Programmable thermostats are not able to adjust and monitor such pace, so it is impossible for them to maintain the desired temperature and save money.

It is important that the temperature in winter does not fall below a certain limit, because then the home heating system will need more energy to restore the previous temperature.

How to Set up Your Programmable Thermostat To Save Money?

Ways to Save Money With Programmable Thermostat

To save money with your programmable thermostat you need to set an optimal home temperature by setting the on and off times correctly. It would be good to set your programmable thermostat to around 68°F (20°C) during winter when you are at home, and to 12°F (6°C) during the night when you are at sleep or away. Also, set your thermostat to turn on about 1 hour before you get up, so you wake up in a warm home. During the summer and warmer months, the base temperature in your home should be 78°F (26°C).

The reason why only a few programmable thermostats save money is that they are adjusted incorrectly, and they use more energy during the night when it should not and when you’re not home. Therefore, bad thermostat adjustment is what causes problems with energy consumption in the house. Large swings in temperatures use more energy.

Programmable Thermostats Can Actually Cost You More

If you have a programmable thermostat installed in your home, you need to know that it can actually cost you more money if it is not adjusted correctly. The main thing is to update, and maintain your current schedule if you want to save money with your thermostat.

Example: If you set your thermostat and it is turning on when you are not at home, it will create an additional cost of energy consumption, which will result in higher costs at the end of the month.

Sometimes, even a traditional thermostat can be more efficient, because it turns one when you tell it to. That is why more and more people are turning to smart thermostats, which have better qualities. Smart thermostats can learn your schedule, you can control them true smartphones, and much more.

It’s Time to Upgrade to Smart Thermostat

Today, controlling the heating system at home with a thermostat is simple and convenient. The main feature of a thermostat is to save money and energy. Therefore, smart thermostats are delivering everything that programmable thermostats promised to deliver, and they didn’t.

All the functionality of the home heating system is displayed by the controller on any device with Internet access. It is very convenient when the temperature in the house can be controlled from your smartphone, computer, or tablet.

To make any adjustments to the operation of the thermostat – whether it is a change in temperature values ​​or the interval for turning on and off the device, you need to go to the application installed on your phone or use the screen of the thermostat itself.

Here you have the Ultimate Guide to Smart Thermostats.

Main Functions of Smart Thermostat

The main functions of thermostats are:

  • Room temperature control;
  • Saving energy resources.

Modern smart thermostats are able to regulate the temperature in the house based on a number of parameters that they learn on their own. They monitor indoor and outdoor temperatures, humidity, and other weather conditions. As a result, based on the data obtained, the device selects the optimal temperature regime, which leads to energy savings.

Also, an important property of the new smart thermostats is their ability to self-learn. They study the daily routine of the owners of the house, their preferences, calculate the time it takes to reach the desired temperature using heaters or air conditioners, and then use it to work more efficiently.

Advantages Of Smart Thermostats

Why replace your programmable thermostat with a smart thermostat? There are plenty of good reasons, but let’s underline that this is the latest generation technology and that the applications that support them allow for greater customization and greater potential energy savings. Even though they are more expensive than programmable thermostats, they can be an informed choice since they generate more savings through personalized use.

The main advantages of a smart thermostat are:

  • Adaptation Schedule Learning

If you have an unpredictable schedule or your business trips are frequent, the smart thermostat lets you adjust the temperature changes according to your absences.

  • Oversized display screen

Most smart models feature a larger and brighter screen than you can easily control. In addition, they are linked to mobile applications and web portals that facilitate thermostat programming.

  • Hassle-free time change

Several programmable thermostats must be manually adjusted when changing to daylight saving time and returning to normal time. Smart models automatically make the switch. 

  • Alert emails and notifications

Most smart models send email alerts or notifications when the temperature rises or falls beyond certain limits. A feature is most convenient for second homes or business premises.

  • Temperature adjustment at your fingertips

You can change the temperature without having to get out of your bed or sofa.

Final Thoughts

Although programmable thermostats can save you money, it is very difficult and demanding in practice to accomplish that. Our schedule changes from day to day, and it is almost impossible for a programmable thermostat to monitor our daily habits. But smart thermostats have appeared on the market, and they can follow our movements and thus save us a lot of energy and money at the end of each month.

With smart thermostats, you can adjust the home temperature even if you are at a different location. Therefore, my recommendation is that if you have a programmable thermostat, replace it with a smart thermostat, which will pay for itself in less than a year. If you have any questions, feel free to write.

Mario

I'm the CEO and founder of Home Hacks DIY. I have been involved in home improvement since my early age. I will try to pass you my knowledge and expertise in this industry in which I have been involved for the last 10 years.

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