Programmable Thermostat - a.k.a. Use It!

If you don't have a programmable thermostat, then buy and install one!

Hopefully, you do have this energy saving device already installed, but that is only half of the battle.  The programmable thermostat does no good just sitting on the wall looking pretty.  It actually requires you to use your index finger (or one of your other digits/opposable thumb) to dial in the settings!

This sounds obvious, but think about it:  Do you currently have your programmable thermostat dialed in to the setting that enables you to stay comfortable while using the least amount of energy?


Do you set it to be be cooler at night in areas you won't be sleeping in.  Do you make it cooler during the day when you are at work, and have it set so the heat kicks on right before you get home?


Do you set it just cool enough at night to be sleep comfortably with your ceiling fan on. (Side note: Before I installed our ceiling fan, I had to set my AC on 72 deg. F to sleep comfortably.  Once I installed my ceiling fan, I could turn that on medium and set the thermostat on 75 deg. F.  Yes, the energy saved on AC is greater than the energy the ceiling fan uses)

The goal of the programmable thermostat is to cause your AC or Heat to come on as little as possible (duh, I know).  Think of it as a game, a game in the real world you can make money and help the environment at.

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Chris - When people are using a programmable thermostat for their primary heat, the ceiling is going to get warm whenever the heat comes on which you may not be there, but the ceiling is going to accumulate the warm air. You can just keep it on all the time, but we in CT pay the highest per Kw in the continental US, so plugging those numbers in will save about $9 per month. Backing up the data is so dependent on the room is difficult. I show on my website, how much sooner the room heats up and turns my furnace off quicker - like 12 minutes every time the furance comes on.
I was awarded a grant for developing a programmable thermostat for ceiling fans to save money during the winter months. I saved about 20% last year in heating fuel costs. I thought this thing would be a big seller, but it is difficult to crack into the market. My temperature sensor is mounted on the ceiling - so it moves all of the hot air that collects at high ceilings during the winter. It may be programmed up to 50 feet away and can work with any ceiling fan - new or retrofit construction.
ckmapawatt's picture
That's not a bad idea at all. Do you have any data to back up saving claims? Why not just run the ceiling fan whenever the heat is on?
For those of you who have hydronic heating systems, you can also now get programmable radiator valves. These allow you to programme the temperature profile for each room. My evaluation of one type of these valves shows a healthy 20% saving in boiler oil consumption over a typical UK winter, through zone control of temperatures to match the use of each room. You can see my results and download an analysis report at <a href="" rel="nofollow"> </a>

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