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For most homeowners it’s an article of faith that programmable thermostats can save a great deal of energy and money. However, many homeowners find they are not experiencing the savings they anticipated upon installing a programmable thermostat.

This is because a programmable thermostat will only be effective if effectively used. Seems simple enough, yet a surprising number of homeowners install a programmable thermostat without learning how it really works, and as a result, squander both energy and cash. Here are some tips to make sure your thermostat is working efficiently.

Limit the Temperature Range

Between seasons, your high and low presets should be within a range of about 10 degrees Fahrenheit. When you’re home and awake, around 68 degrees should be the target setting during the winter, and in the summer, about 78 degrees. If you find yourself primarily spending time in one or two rooms of the house, consider picking up a space heater or using other strategies to minimize your overall energy consumption.

Change the Temperature When You Leave

Heating and cooling can comprise up to 50 percent of your household energy costs. To save up to 10 percent on your annual bills, remember to use energy-saving programs that set back the thermostat temperature when you’re not around or are sleeping. You can set a few daily settings that will automatically enact these changes. To obtain the greatest savings, use at least eight-hour blocks of temperature setbacks.

But remember: Just because you turned the temperature back while away, doesn’t mean you’ve saved enough to crank it up or down when you’re home. Always use moderation, and don’t undo your energy savings by rewarding yourself with unnecessarily high (or low) temperatures.

Choose the Right Thermostat

Find a programmable thermostat that best suits your needs. By doing a little research and reading review, you can figure out which brand will work best with your heating and air conditioning systems.

For more advice on finding, installing and using programmable thermostats, contact your local experts at NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating. NisAir has been serving the air conditioning needs of St. Lucie and Martin counties since 1973.