Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Does it Pay to use a Programmable Thermostat?

Most people are familiar with thermostats that can be programmed to adjust the temperature of your home at night when you are asleep, or during the day when you are at work. In the heating season, you can program down the temperature when you are asleep or away from home. In the summer time, you can program the temperature higher when you are away.

Many homes still have simple thermostats that people adjust manually. Many other homes have programmable thermostats that the home owner does not know how to use. Most of these are set at the same temperature level all day long.

People often do not believe there is any savings from adjusting the thermostat for a few hours. They believe that it takes more energy to heat up the house when they get home (or cool down the house in the summer). According to this theory, it’s better to just maintain the home at a constant temperature.

In 2005, the Canadian Centre for Housing Technology did a study to find out if there were any savings using programmable thermostats. This Federal Government department has a research facility in Ottawa with two identical homes built in 1998. The homes are typical of many subdivision houses. They have two floors, with a two car garage and basement. They are built to the R-2000 standard, typical in most newer homes in Canada, with natural gas furnaces.

In one of the homes, for the winter test, the thermostat was set back to 18°C (64.4°F) from 11:00PM until 6:00AM. The temperature was also set back from 9:00AM to 4:00PM. The morning and evening normal temperature was set at 22°C (71.6°F).

The second home was set at a constant 22°C (71.6°F). The home with the programmable thermostat used 10% less gas and 1.9% less hydro. The hydro savings result from the furnace fan not running as much.

For the summer test, the home with the programmable thermostat had the temperature set higher to 25°C (77°F) from 9:00AM to 4:00PM every day. This produced a hydro saving of 10.7%.

This study dispelled the myth and made it quite clear that a programmable thermostat can pay for itself very quickly.

Today’s WiFi thermostats offer home owners even more reasons to upgrade. They are far easier to program than the earlier generation of thermostats. You can adjust your thermostat using your smart phone.

If you are away on vacation and forgot to turn down the heat, you can do it remotely. They also offer peace of mind. You can set them up to notify you if your furnace stops working when you are away.
The Hayter Group features WiFi thermostats by Ecobee and Honeywell. Furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps and humidifiers can all be controlled by a modern thermostat. It’s more important than ever to have a professional installation to insure that your equipment is compatible with your thermostat.

You can enjoy a new thermostat controlled from your smart phone. If you are not currently automatically setting your thermostat when you are away, the new stat will pay for itself.

The Hayter Group

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