Excel Heating and Cooling uses programmable thermostats on every new installation project, and our owner Jay Monger recommends that anyone with non-programmable climate control systems upgrade to programmable ones.
The installation cost may cost around $200, which is generally easily recouped in home utility cost savings. Winter energy and cost savings are even bigger by allowing your house to get a little chilly when there’s nobody occupying the home.
Because the settings on a programmable thermostat often come with pre-set recommendations, they are not always well calibrated to achieve the right balance of comfort and energy efficiency. For example, according to EPA recommendations, an efficient summer setting for a programmable thermostat is 78 degrees when people are at home and awake, 85 degrees when no one is home, and 82 degrees when people are asleep. Not everyone however can comfortably sleep in the sometimes humid Shenandoah Valley at 82 degrees, which tells us that these studies aren’t always subjective.
Noting that these temperature settings are a good bit higher than most people will choose, Monger suggests that each family should make their own decision by weighing home comfort against utility bills and energy savings. Regardless of the specifics of that choice, allowing the temperature to fluctuate will save both money and energy.