Consistency is key in saving electricity and cash when using any type of thermostat. Programmable thermostats are both an energy and money saver if set correctly. Smart thermostats are also programmable but designed to adjust automatically to a space’s changing conditions.
The Department of Energy has set recommendations to achieve energy and money saving results in both cooler and warmer months, suggesting thermostats are set to a daytime temperature of 68°F in cooler months and 78°F in warmer months. They also recommend nudging a thermostat down at night during cooler months and bumping it up slightly when one leaves their home during warmer months (the Department of Energy’s maximum temperature recommendation when leaving a home in warmer months is 85°F, provided there are no pets in the residence). A home or business owner looking to achieve a comfortable baseline temperature in a space that feels too cool or warm can adjust temperatures by tweaking the thermostat up or down by a degree a day. Suitable temperatures vary based on individual circumstances including the construction of a person’s home, the health conditions and ages of those living there and if they have pets. A person with questions about temperature ranges for babies or senior citizens should contact a healthcare professional; and for pets, should consult with their veterinarian.
A homeowner or tenant vacationing in cooler months can keep their thermostat at 55°F to save energy and prevent pipes from freezing, the Department of Energy says. Pet owners should program thermostats accordingly in both cooler and warmer months, if pets are left at home with sitters stopping by to check on them. A pet owner should speak to their veterinarian before leaving their home any time of year for guidelines to ensure the temperature of their residence is kept comfortable for their pet. Pet sitters should always assess the temperature daily, check pets for any signs of discomfort and provide pets with fresh water. Young or aged animals are typically sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Dogs do not normally tolerate indoor temperatures higher than 82°F in warmer months and cats lower than 70°F in cooler months. Temperature ranges for small mammals and reptiles differ in both warmer and cooler times of year — pet owners should seek the advice of their veterinarian if they have questions.
Here are a few more programmable thermostat guidelines you should know:
- • Each set temperature should be kept constant for at least 8 hours at a time.
- • Settings should not be regularly overridden. A person saves the most money when sticking with the thermostat’s program settings.
- • A homeowner or tenant who needs to override the temperature should use the temporary” button only, which holds the new setting until the next cycle.
- • The batteries in programmable thermostats should be changed regularly.
- • Homes with multiple temperature zones should have a programmable thermostat per zone. Experts say a person may have more control over their energy bill savings and usage with different zones, since warming up or cooling down a complete home expends greater energy.
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