Programmable thermostats can save you money this winter

Did you know that roughly 42% of the money you spend on utility bills is from heating your home?

Regardless of what type of system you have in your home there are several ways that you can save money. First and foremost, properly maintaining and upgrading your equipment is a surefire way to see some cost savings. In addition to maintenance and upgrades, proper home insulation and thermostat settings also help save on energy costs.

Just by turning your thermostat back 7°F to 10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting, you can save as much as 10% on your heating and cooling costs each year. During the winter months, set your thermostat at 68°F while you are awake and then set it lower while you are asleep or away from home. I know, it sounds like a lot of work, which is why a programmable thermostat is a great investment.

A programmable thermostat allows you to “set it and forget it.” You set the temperatures based on the times you are normally home and your habits, and then you almost never have to bother with it.

Here’s an example of how a weekday schedule may look for a working family with school age children:

6:45 am – The family begins to wake up and the temperature of the house is 68°F. The heat automatically turned on earlier so it would hit this temperature by 6:30.
7:45 am – The family leaves the home and the thermostat is set back to 56°F. Since everyone is at work or school during the day, turning down the thermostat 10°-15° for 8 hours, the family can save 5% to 15% per year.
4:30 pm – The family starts returning home and the heat kicks on a little bit beforehand so the house is 68°F when they get home.
10:30 pm – The whole family is warm and snuggled into bed and the thermostat is again set it 56°F.
Note that no one had to touch the thermostat to make any of these changes. At the start of the season, they programmed it once to follow this specific schedule.

Programmable thermostats come in a variety of makes and models. Some models have very basic features while others have all of the bells and whistles. A basic programmable thermostat will allow you to program a heating and cooling schedule. A more complex programmable thermostat also helps reduce the amount of energy you use, but they also offer more flexibility and even further reduction in what you spend. For example, you can purchase a thermostat that allows you to remotely access your system while you are away from home. So if something unexpected comes up and you are not coming home at the time you programmed the thermostat for, you can manually override the program so it won’t turn on yet.

Some models will also tell you how much energy you are using and how you can switch things up to enhance energy use by analyzing things like local weather, how large your home is, and how much activity there is.

So, how much money can you save?

With a basic programmable thermostat you can save around 15% on your energy bills. The more intricate models can save you anything up to 20% (and more). If you are paying $2,000 a year on heating and cooling costs, this means you can save between $300 and $400 after installing a programmable thermostat.

Having a programmable thermostat installed in your home is a win-win situation. They are convenient, bring added comfort, and save you both time and money.

If you are interested in learning more about programmable thermostat savings check out this article from

Burkholder’s HVAC offers programmable thermostat installation. Contact us for pricing information.