Can Programmable Thermostats Help Homeowners Cut Energy Costs?

The annual energy bill for the average homeowner in the United States is $2,060 a year. Nearly 42% of this cost goes toward heating and cooling, which makes this the largest share of a household’s energy expenses. Unfortunately, for homeowners in this country, heating and costs are only expected to rise. This is largely due to the fact that the cost for electricity and natural gas, which powers most HVAC systems, is going up.

For homeowners who want to do everything they can to cut their heating and cooling costs, there are some effective things to try. One is to replace an older HVAC system with a newer, energy-efficient one. HVAC systems have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) and usually, the higher the number, the more energy efficient the unit. Other ways to save money on heating and cooling costs include sealing all drafty windows and doors with weatherstripping or caulk, adding new insulation, and changing air filters on the HVAC on a regular basis.

Another potential energy cost-saver that homeowners will want to try is to install a programmable thermostat. According to the EPA, programmable thermostats can save homeowners between 10 to 30% on the heating and cooling portion of their energy bill. But is this really true?

When getting a programmable thermostat, some homeowners will want to know how to wire a thermostat. If necessary, homeowners can also get it installed by a professional HVAC technician. Once it has been wired, homeowners who want to save money on their energy bill will need to be consistent with how they use their thermostat.

In order to see the most savings, homeowners should set their thermostat to 68 degrees F. when they are at home. When they are away or sleeping, they should lower it by about 10 to 12 degrees. In order to avoid being too cold, the thermostat should be set to turn the heat on an hour before waking up or coming back home. In the summer, the thermostat should bet set at 78 degrees F. when homeowners are home or sleeping and set higher when they are away or asleep.

Can programmable thermostats help homeowners cut energy costs? The answer is yes, programmable thermostats really can save homeowners a lot of money on their energy costs. However, in order to save the most money, they need to be consistent when setting it to the right temperature when they are at home and away.

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Melissa Thompson

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.