Thursday, June 28, 2007

Day Eight - Turning Up (or Down) The Heat


We all know that installing a programmable thermostat will cut your energy bills by lots. At least that's what we've been told over and over and over and over. Of course, we installed ours when we bought the house. Couldn't believe they lived in the dark ages and used a non-programmable thermostat. Heathens. We're so much better than that.

Well, nine months later I still didn't know how to use it. I had programmed it once initially when we bought it, but I never seem happy with the temperature and use the "override" button way too much. This "holds" the temperature at whatever I select until someone comes and either "overrides" that number or switches it back to "auto". Didn't seem very programmable to me, but hey, it wasn't the most expensive thermostat anyhow.

Turns out that if I would just stop hitting "HOLD" after changing the temperature, it would automatically switch back to "auto" mode when it came to one of the pre-programmed times. Duh. So I played with it for a while, reset my temperatures to reflect our schedule (no sense heating/cooling when we're generally out of the house) and most importantly, relayed the new "don't hit HOLD" information to my husband. Now we both know how to use it.


According to, "Typical savings are about one-percent per degree set-back for each eight hour period. So a five degree set-back from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM would reduce your fuel costs five-percent. " I'd say, all in all, that would approximate our new use. Since we're currently in A/C season, that would come right off my electric bill, roughly 30kWh per month. Of course, with gas prices, the savings would be much more dramatic in winter.


Rooting around trying to find the booklet for the furnace took about a half an hour. I finally gave up and went online to look it up on the product website. Once I learned how to program it was easy, though. And, it'll be even easier to use now that I know. So today's call-to-action is: if you have a programmable thermostat, learn how to use it, if you don't have one yet, get one. They're much easier to install than they are to program!

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