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One of the easiest and low-cost ways to lower energy bills involves using a programmable thermostat. By optimizing when your heating system runs, you can reduce energy consumption, without compromising the comfort levels in your home. Learn how programmable thermostats work, how to program settings to match your schedule, and features to look for.

How programmable thermostats work

Much like a manual thermostat sends a signal to the furnace to either start up or shut down, a programmable thermostat functions in the same way, except that most models are usually digital, allowing you to program four daily schedule changes, without having to manually adjust the settings.

Programming settings

You can choose from a variety of programmable thermostats that range from those that offer the same daily schedule every day of the week to a high-end model that offers a different schedule for every day of the week. In general, however, most models give you four daily settings for flexibility in terms of matching settings to your lifestyle. A common daily setting might look like this:

  • At 6 a.m., the thermostat fires up the furnace so the home reaches 72 degrees.
  • At 8 a.m, when family members leave for work and school, the thermostat setting changes to 68 degrees.
  • At 4 p.m. when family members begin arriving home, the thermostat warms the home to a comfortable 72 degrees.
  • At bedtime, around 10 p.m., the next setting ensures energy savings overnight, dropping the home’s temperature back down to 66 degrees.

For maximum savings, homeowners should strive to achieve at least one eight-hour setback every day, dropping the home’s temperature as much as possible.

Choosing a model

Standard programmable thermostat models generally feature digital displays and backlighting. Higher-end models offer touchscreen programming, phone/voice programming, air filter change reminders and adaptive recovery, which is similar to a “smart” thermostat that reads the home’s temperatures and makes incremental adjustments to ensure maximum energy savings. Higher-priced models also offer more flexibility in terms of the number of daily and weekly programmed settings.

For more information about programmable thermostats, contact Aladdin Heating & Cooling. We’ve served homeowners in Metro-Detroit since 1945.

Our goal is to help educate our customers 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 Resource guide.

Aladdin Heating services Novi, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Southfield, Oak Park, Ferndale, Beverly Hills, Berkley, Royal Oak, Birmingham, Bloomfield Twp., Bloomfield Hills, West Bloomfield, Madison Heights, Clawson, Sterling Heights, Warren, Troy, St. Clair Shores, Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Woods, Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe Park, Detroit, Utica, Shelby Twp., Rochester, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Lake Orion, Oxford, and Clarkston.

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