Comfort and Savings with Programmable Thermostats
November 2, 2019
I started using programmable thermostats last winter and really liked the results. When I say results and I am not referring to energy savings as this is hard to determine. Winters differ so even looking at your NB Power records does not necessarily reveal how much money you save. As you google your way around the net you see estimates from 5% to 15%. According to Energy Star (energystar.gov) “Through proper use of a programmable thermostat (using the four pre-programmed settings) you can save about $180 every year in energy costs.” This is based on a typical single family home. What typical is I don’t know but to me it just makes sense; if you turn down the heat when you don’t need (ie. when not home or sleeping under a warm blanket) you are going to save money.
You don’t need programmable thermostats if you have the memory of the elephant. Just simply go around the house when you get up, turn up the heat, turn it down when you leave for work, turn back up again when arriving home from a stressful day at office and turning down again before going to bed. And if you live in New Brunswick you have to do this 8 out of 12 months of the year. Most people are not elephants or robots that can handle this routine so an easy solution is to get programmable thermostats.
I have one programmable thermostat that heats a space used as an office and where we get ready for work in the morning. I set the thermostat to 21 C at 5:00 am so the room is comfortable when we get up in the morning and get ready for work. At 8:00 am the thermostat will turn down the heat to 17 C because by this time we have left the house for work. My wife Angela also uses this area as an office 2 or 3 times a week that is not on a set schedule. I also use it in the evenings sometime to lie on the couch to read with the dog (Tessa).
I have 2 other set points at 17 C (5:00 pm and 10:00 pm) which allows us to turn up the heat if required (ie. if my wife works from home, I read/fall asleep reading book with Tessa) but not have to remember to turn it down once finished using this space. You can still override the set point of the thermostat however, your programmed set points will still turn up or down the heat at the programmed time.You might be confused if you have never used a programmable thermostat but once you have tried one it is really quite simple. Keep in mind that you don’t need programmable thermostats for every room in the house. I suggest using them only for the main living areas. In other rooms that are not used often a non-programmable electronic thermostat will suffice.
Before going out and replacing all of your thermostats try one to see how it works. It is really quite easy and you will be pleased with the feeling you are saving money and increasing your comfort level in the house without having to worry about turning down the heat.
Red Seal Electrician/Owner