They pay for themselves very quickly.
Top Reasons to Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are a low-cost investment with a fast pay-back. Estimates for how much they save vary, but hover around 10% of annual utility bills!
Our lungs weren't made for warm, dry air 24/7. Sleeping in cooler air in winter eases allergy symptoms and leaves eyes and skin less dry.
You don't have to worry about getting up to a cold house or arriving to a cold workplace on winter mornings. Just program the thermostat for your wake-up time and wake to a warm house.
Most models allow for three standing schedules (Monday-Friday, Saturday and Sunday); some let you set a different schedule for each day of the week. You can set it to adjust the temperature while you're at work or school, on vacation or away for more than two hours.
"Smart programmable thermostats" cost more, but can be adjusted from a smart phone. Need to stay late at work? Decide to work from home on a snowy day? Can't recall whether you set the thermostat back before leaving for a weekend get-away? Just use its app!
(Some older HVAC systems are incompatible with smart thermostats. If in doubt, your HVAC contractor can determine whether it's an option for your home or business.)
How to Choose a New Thermostat
Review Consumer Report's Buyer's Guide. Don't subscribe? Visit your nearest Louisville Free Public Library.
Read what Energy Star has to say on smart thermostats, too.
Consult Enervee Scores for available models and street prices after clicking "Energy Star" in the filter menu. Why filter for Energy Star certified models when thermostats use so little power? Research has shown that the instructions for programming them can be so confusing that 40% of programmable thermostats aren't programmed, and instead are being used like analog models.
How to Program Your Thermostat
Find your thermostat's instruction booklet.
Can't find it? Just do an internet search for "[your thermostat's manufacturer] [its model number] instructions." (Save it as a PDF file on your computer for future reference.)
Note that manufacturers often use the same booklet for more than one product; be sure to follow the instructions for your model. If you don't see the model number on the outside of the thermostat, carefully open its cover to find it. Then, follow the "set-up" instructions.