Cold Weather Calls for New Thermostat Programs

Cold Weather Calls for New Thermostat ProgramsShorter days, colder temperatures and changing schedules: resetting the programmable thermostat gets your heating system in synch for another winter. Programming to drop the temperature 10 degrees during times when occupants are asleep or the house is empty can reduce heating costs by 10 to 20 percent. That’s enough energy savings to recoup the cost of the thermostat the first year. It also makes household comfort more consistent and frees you from the requirement to manually tweak temperature settings day and night.

But all these perks rely on resetting the programmable thermostat properly to meet the season. Here are some guidelines for winter:

  • During hours when occupants are at home and awake, the temperature target zone should be 68 to 70 degrees. Most people feel comfortable indoors at that temperature and it’s also the most energy-efficient range of operation for typical furnaces.
  • Overnight while people are asleep, program an 8-hour period where the temperature remains about 10 degrees below the setting for waking hours. Longer time spans with no temperature changes are the most efficient and cost-effective.
  • Thirty minutes before the usual time the last person leaves the house for the day, set the thermostat to reduce the indoor temperature 15 degrees and keep it there all day while the house is unoccupied. Thirty minutes before the time the first person usually returns home, program the temperature to return to normal waking hours setting.

Other Options

  • Take advantage of the programmable thermostat’s separate weekend settings. Input different wake-up and sleeping times, as well as hours when the home is occupied, to reflect weekend schedules and patterns of occupancy.
  • If you’re leaving town for a few days, the “vacation” option provided by most thermostats allows you to input a single day-and-night temperature — 55 to 60 degrees is recommended — to keep the house minimally warm 24/7 while you’re gone. This saves energy as well as helps prevent frozen pipes or other damage if the house was left unheated.

Need help resetting the programmable thermostat for cold weather? Ask the experts at Paitson Bros., Terre Haute’s source for dependable HVAC service since 1922.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about thermostats and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “sashkin/Shutterstock”

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