How old is your thermostat? If itâ€™s more than 10 years old, itâ€™s probably time for an upgrade. A basic rule of thumb is that the older the thermostat is, the less efficient it is. Some older houses still have analog slide or dial thermostats: a style of thermostat that hasnâ€™t been installed for decades. Without a digital readout, these thermostats canâ€™t even heat their space to an exact temperature; each degree that a thermostat is off its ideal temperature can cost an extra 3% in energy usage.
A digital readout can improve the accuracy of a thermostat, but to realize real savings, you really need a programmable thermostat: one that you can program to raise and lower air temperatures. With programmable thermostats, people can automatically reduce heating and air conditioning usage as appropriate; when theyâ€™re at work during the day, for instance, or at night when theyâ€™re sleeping. Programmable thermostats allow you to program not only each time of day, but also different days, since weekend schedules tend to differ from weekday schedules. Users can easily override the thermostat program and raise or lower the temperature as needed, but the automatic reductions can reduce your heating and power bill by five to 15 percent a year.
For maximum heating and air conditioning efficiency, itâ€™s worth considering investing in a â€œsmartâ€ or â€œlearningâ€ thermostat. Smart thermostats are so called because they learn from their householdâ€™s heating and air conditioning usage and adjust their programs accordingly to provide optimal temperatures at maximum efficiency. According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), smart thermostats can reduce energy use for home heating and cooling by an average of about 8â€“15%. Some utility companies offer rebates for households that use smart thermostats, especially those that reduce energy usage during peak demand times. For more information on how your thermostat can work for you, ask the experts at Johns Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning today.