Back-to-School Thermostat Settings for Lower Electric Bills

August 15, 2013

Got kids back in school? 

If those little buggers won’t be around the house during the day and neither will you, there’s no need to cool your home the way you do when you are home.
 
Here’s how to set your thermostat with energy efficiency in mind during the coming months. 

Setting your thermostat for energy efficiency

Energy.gov gives some great advice on how to set your thermostat based on whether you need to cool or heat your home. Since we’re on the last leg of summer, we’ll start there.

During summer months:

  • When you’re home- Set your thermostat to 78°F 
  • When you’re away- Set your thermostat 10 to 15 degrees higher for at least 8 hours. 
  • Benefits to your wallet- Doing this consistently will save you 10%-15% on your cooling bill.

During winter months:  

  • When you’re home- Set your thermostat to 68°F only when you are at home and need heating. 
  • When you’re away- Set your thermostat 10 to 15 degrees lower for at least 8 hours. 
  • Benefits to your wallet- Doing this consistently will save you 10%-15% on your cooling bill.

The thermostat setting rule of thumb

You probably noticed this, but for every degree you consistently set your thermostat back for 8 hours, you lower your electric bill by 1%. It’s as simple as that!

Just be disciplined about setting your thermostat when you leave and get home. If you need to remember the settings, put a sticky note on your thermostat.

But what if you kids get home before you?

If your kids get back before you, and you don’t want them going crazy with the thermostat (or you don’t want them to feel too warm or cold when they get home), you could install a programmable thermostat. 

A programmable thermostat lets you set temperatures based on the times you’re home or away on certain days, and it will automatically change your temperature setting for you.
 
So if your kids get home at 3:30 PM and you get home at 5:30 PM, you can set your programmable thermostat to start cooling or heating your home around 3:15 PM on the weekdays.
 
Since you basically “set it and forget it” you don’t have to constantly fidget with the temperature setting to lower your electric bills.
 
According to Energystar.gov, a programmable thermostat can help you save about $180 a year in energy costs.
 
You can learn even more about programmable thermostat features in one of our previous articles. 
 
If you’re interested in getting a programmable thermostat installed, give us a ring at (913)-856-5801, or contact us online