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Programmable Thermostat

By: Danny Lipford

With energy costs constantly on the rise there are tons of gimmicks out there that say they will save you money. People always want to know what’s for real and what’s not. The programmable thermostat is one that sounds too good to be true but it isn’t.

These devices can be set to automatically turn your thermostat back 10-15 degrees when the house is empty. By doing this, you can save up to 15% a year on your heating bill. For an average household with a utility bill of $125 a month, that means an annual savings of up to $225.

Obviously this works best if you have a consistent schedule that leaves the house empty for long periods of time. Programming some of these units can be complicated, so make sure you are comfortable with the functions of the unit before install it.

The one exception here is a home with a heat pump. A typical programmable thermostat can actually make a heat pump less energy efficient, but there are newer hybrid thermostats that can be used with these systems as well.

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5 Comments on “Programmable Thermostat”

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  • Barb Dixon Says:
    March 3rd, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    Could you please list a few Hybrid Programmable Termostats for use with a heat pump. We just installed a touch screen version ourselves. . .called the 800# and the CSR did not give us the proper directions to hook up with a heat pump. It was running on emergency heat. When we realized this we called and got that straightened out with a different CSR to find out if we have more than a 3 degree variance the emergency heat will turn on until it reaches the temperature we set it for.



  • Charlie Johnson Says:
    January 13th, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    Please list a few Hybrid Programmable Thermostats for use with a heat pump.
    Charlie Johnson



  • Richard Demaray Says:
    January 13th, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    I installed a programmable thermostat, and set it to raise the Temp to 85 degress when I was not home. I set it to cool off starting 1 hr before I would normally get home. When I had it set this way the AC would run for 16+ hrs a day. When I changed the temp back to the same temp all the day, it cut back the AC to only running 10-11 hrs a day. I live in Oklahoma so it hot in summer and cold in winter. The programmable thermostat might be good idea for a place you might only be at on weekends or something like that.



  • Donald Tuttle Says:
    January 6th, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    What are the manufacturer’s names and, if available, the model numbers of “hybrid” programmable thermostats that can be used with heat pump systems like we have in our home? Thanks, Don Tuttle



  • John Cannamela Says:
    October 25th, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    Be carefull do it yourselfers-these can be tricky-some need an extra wire for common & all need to be adjusted for the amp draw from the transformer.If your not sure its worth having a tech install it. But it is worth it.The new touch screen versions allow you to monitor KW.


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