Twenty years ago thermostats were turned up and down for comfort levels with absolutely no thought to saving energy. In fact, the wars over the thermostat are legendary in most families. There is usually one spouse who wants the house over 72 degrees and the other who wants the temperature at least 68.
Today amnesty has been declared! Energy efficient homes and saving money now take precedent regarding where to set the thermostat.
Finding and setting the right temperature is the first goal. The general recommendation is to set the heat at 68 F degrees and at 76 F degrees in the summer. Any time you can either move this number up or down two degrees will give you a substantial cost savings.
For example, if you have your thermostat set at 70 F degrees in the winter and feel comfortable walking around in a short sleeve shirt, you may want to turn the temperature down two degrees and wear a long sleeve shirt and a fleece vest. Setting the air condition at 76 F degrees and turning on the fan is enough to pull out the humidity in the air and keeping it at that level will save energy because the air conditioner will not have to turn on and off.
One quick energy saving tip to keep in mind is that if you are not going to be home for a period of time, whether it is visiting family, taking a vacation, or going to a business trip, Turn you thermostat down in the winter to at least 65-62 F degrees. As long as your furnace is working your pipes will not freeze. If you are leaving during the summer months turn your thermostat to 78. If you live in a climate where there are a lot of insects, keep the air circulating by keeping on the fan.
If you are serious about saving energy and money your very best decision is to invest in programmable thermostats. They are not too expensive selling at just a bit more than a standard model. However, they can save you money.
For instance, they work the same as other thermostats. When your home temperature changes so much that the furnace or air conditioner needs to kick in, they do the work. However, you can program them to turn on before you come home from work. If you are gone most of the day and there is no one at home, why would you want to keep the furnace blasting all day? If the period of time that you are gone is longer than a couple of hours, these programmable thermostats are a blessing.
You simply set the time in which you will be home and at that time they will kick on. Better models can be programmed for various days of the week such as Saturday when you may be home all day. When the time comes to turn on, they turn on by themselves and get your home at the right temperature.
You can also program them for different temperatures at night when you are sleeping. By raising the temperature in your home during the summer a couple of degrees, or lowering it a couple of degrees in the winter, you are saving a great deal of energy and lowering the cost of your utility bills.