Programmable thermostats are a proven method of controlling energy costs. You might already have them installed, but are you sure you’re using them to its best advantage — and do you have the right type to suit your needs?
You can save 10% in heating and cooling costs by turning back your thermostat by 7-10 degrees from its normal setting for eight hours a day, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Having a programmable thermostat makes scheduling this kind of after-hours temperature change much easier.
Programmable thermostats can store multiple daily settings that you can manually override. With some thermostats, you can store six or more temperature settings per day. Here are some more programmable thermostat tips:
- Limiting access. If you have a problem with occupants adjusting temps, many programmable thermostats have a feature that will lock out users or send you an alert when the temps have been changed. You can also set a range of temperatures so occupants can’t go too high or too low.
- Optimize usage. When programming the thermostat, scale back heating and cooling when the building is unoccupied. It’s a big way to cut costs. For example, scale back temps 7 degrees between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m.
- Know what your needs are. For a small commercial building with one zone, a residential thermostat can do the trick. For multiple locations or zones, choose a programmable thermostat with cloud technology. You’ll be able to control the temps remotely from your computer, smartphone or tablet.