How to Program Your Thermostat

Woman adjusting thermostat

Programmable thermostats and home automation devices are flying off the shelves.

Whether you received a smart thermostat as a gift or want to purchase a product that can upgrade your comfort and lower your energy bills, the good news is that thermostats are easy to program, and they deliver proven savings when used as directed. Smart thermostats that qualify for the Energy Star certification must reduce a consumer's annual HVAC runtime by at least 8%. This equates to an annual savings of $50, although many homeowners save more than $130 per year. If you're interested in taking advantage of the latest technology and adjusting the temperature with a touch of your smartphone, our experts at Air Care & Canyon Lake Air Conditioning in San Antonio have compiled a few tips to maximize your savings.

Recommended Thermostat Settings

Smart thermostats are most efficient when consumers use long-term home and away settings at least eight hours each. Frequent temperature changes can drive up energy use, so it's better to choose a versatile temperature that will be comfortable for the entire household. For maximum savings, Energy Star recommends the following settings.

  • During the cooling season, keep the temperature around 78 degrees when you're home.

  • Based on a recommended setback of 7 degrees, raise the thermostat to 85 degrees before you leave.

  • If vacationing, increase the temperature, but keep the AC running to prevent humidity buildup.

  • When sleeping, use an intermediate setting around 82 degrees for optimal comfort and savings.

  • During the heating season, keep the temperature between 68 and 72 degrees when you're home.

  • At night or before bed, lower the temperature to 62 or 66 degrees during the winter.

Special Considerations for Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are ideal for areas like San Antonio that experience long summers and mild winters. These products are most efficient when they're maintaining a fixed setting, but they're less effective when they need to raise the temperature by several degrees in a short period. For maximum efficiency, heat pumps should be paired with adaptive heat recovery thermostats that allow the system to ramp up gradually without activating the backup heat strip or gas burners. These systems can help homeowners realize maximum energy savings during the winter.

Smart Thermostats and Advanced Features

Thanks to new technology, smart thermostats are easy to program. Most products feature intuitive touchscreen displays and user-friendly menus. They can also link to your smartphone for added functionality. Geofencing is another valuable feature. This technology allows the thermostat to implement your preferred settings based on the location of your smartphone.

When selecting a new smart thermostat, it's important to make sure that the unit is compatible with your current HVAC system. If you aren't sure where to start, ask our professionals for advice. We'll be happy to evaluate your options and recommend a product. We can also complete the installation process and help you apply for rebates available through utility companies like CPS Energy. Contact Air Care & Canyon Lake Air Conditioning today for more details at (210) 794-6859.

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