Save Money and Energy by Adjusting Thermostat Settings

September 22, 2023

Save Money and Energy by Adjusting Thermostat Settings


When winter weather begins, homeowners look for ways to save on high home heating costs. While you may not have thought about this solution, adjusting thermostat settings is one easy way to reduce costs and lower energy use at the same time.  

How Can Adjusting Thermostat Settings Benefit the Home?

Whether you have a dial-style or digital, programmable thermostat, adjusting thermostat settings is a strategy that can be used to manage your home temperature throughout the year. This and other steps can help you prepare your home for winter furnace use. Click here to read our related post on getting your furnace ready for winter.

Lowering the indoor temperature by a few degrees can add up to noticeable savings over the cold months. Consider this strategy at these times:

  • At night when everyone is asleep, or
  • When the house is vacant for four hours or more.  

Programmable Thermostat: The Easy Way to Adjust

Remembering to change your settings manually can be difficult to remember and is sometimes not possible when you're away from home.

This is one of the problems a programmable thermostat can solve. An automatic setting can be entered to return your home to a warmer temperature a short time before waking up in the morning or returning home later in the day. This can avoid the uncomfortable transition period while the furnace re-heats the home. There are several types of programmable thermostats, available at home improvement centers for homeowners.

Types of programmable thermostats

  • 7- Day Thermostat – This model offers a setting for every day of the week and is the most flexible thermostat. Adjusting thermostat settings manually is not necessary with this model.There are four program periods available each day. This is very useful for a household with changing daily and weekend schedules.
  • 5+1+1 Thermostat – With this type of unit, one setting is entered for the weekdays and separate schedules can be entered for Saturday and Sunday. This is slightly less flexible then the 7-day model, but is still very useful to many families. Four daily programming periods are possible with this option.
  • 5+2 Thermostat – With this model, weekdays can have one set schedule and weekends can have another. While not as flexible as other thermostat types above, energy savings are still possible.

All of these thermostats provide the additional advantage of reducing wear and tear on your heating and cooling system. The result can be extending the lifespan of your system and reducing necessary repairs. Note also that the benefits of a programmable thermostat extend into the warm months if you have a central A/C unit as part of your system, by employing the same programming method to cool your home.

Available Options/Features


Modern programmable thermostats have features to make your life easier. Here are some available options to consider when upgrading your thermostat:

  • Low battery indicator – Some thermostats are hard-wired into the electrical system and others use internal batteries. If you have a battery-operated model, a low battery warning light can indicate when a replacement is necessary to avoid losing any power or programming.
  • Wireless operation – Modern thermostats can have wireless control enabling programming from anywhere by a smartphone or other communication device. If you forget to enter a program or need to make a change, use your smartphone at your convenience to make adjustments.
  • Service and maintenance reminders – Another option available with the latest thermostats is an indicator to notify you when the HVAC air filter needs to be replaced or remind you of the time for an annual inspection and cleaning.

Adjusting thermostat settings on your HVAC system can lead to welcome savings on energy usage and expenses. Installing a programmable thermostat can boost the savings you see in both winter and summer months. Combined with less strain on your heating and cooling system, a modern programmable thermostat is worth the investment.  Your initial expense will be recouped quickly.

Easy installation makes this an inexpensive upgrade that results in significant improvements in home comfort and energy savings. Turning down the thermostat can save on heating costs, but managing your settings doesn't mean you have to sacrifice the comfort of your home during the holiday season. If used correctly, a programmable thermostat will help to provide the best of both worlds.

Many Ways to Save

Using a digital, programmable thermostat is just one way to save on cost and energy. Read our helpful e-book, 25 Ways to Save, shown below, for additional ideas for making your home more comfortable and efficient.

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