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Resetting Your Programmable Thermostat this Season

If you haven’t gotten around to changing the settings on your programmable thermostat for cold weather energy savings, the sooner the better. A programmable thermostat can’t save you money unless you have it set for the particular season. This means inputting energy-saving setbacks for weekdays when the house is empty or overnight when everybody is sleeping. In the winter, of course, you program lower temperatures rather than higher ones during times when you want to save energy.

Following is a typical schedule for programming your thermostat for a winter weekday:

  • With family members home for dinner and engaging in activities before bedtime, leave the thermostat setting at your regular comfort temperature — perhaps 20 degrees.
  • Later in the evening, as family members are preparing to go to bed, program a lower temperature. This will depend on home occupant preferences. It’s important to remember, however, that setbacks of greater than 3-5 degrees aren’t necessary; it takes just as much or more energy to bring a home back to a comfort setting when the setback exceeds 3-5 degrees.
  • Program the thermostat to start warming up the house about a half hour before the house awakens in the morning. However, if family members are up and out of the house relatively quickly, you might skip this step. Warming up a house for a very short period can be a waste of energy and will make it more difficult to achieve long-term energy savings.
  • During the day when the house is empty (weekdays), set the temperature back three to five degrees. There’s no reason to fully heat an empty house. During cold weather, it is important to keep some heat in a home, to avoid frozen pipes, damaged house plants, discomfort for pets and other problems. Program the thermostat to return to a comfortable waking temperature — around 20 degrees — shortly before everyone’s expected home in the late afternoon.

For more advice on resetting your programmable thermostat for the winter, or if you’d like discuss upgrading to the newest smart thermostat for your Calgary-area home, please contact us at Arpi’s Industries.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about programmable thermostats and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide.

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