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Programmable Thermostat vs Non‑Programmable Thermostat, Which One Saves More Money?

Keeping your house cool in Arizona is expensive. In fact, average household utility costs in Arizona are some of the highest in the nation—largely because of our hot, desert climate.

If you’re like most people, you want to cut down that expensive energy bill as much as possible. You may have wondered if it’s less expensive to keep your non-programmable thermostat, or if you can save money using a programmable thermostat.

Here’s the answer: Both a programmable and non-programmable thermostat have the potential to save you money if you know how to use your thermostat correctly. However, a programmable thermostat changes your home's temperature automatically and therefore makes it EASIER to save money.

We know that probably doesn't explain everything you want to know, so below, we’ll explain:

  • How to use your thermostat correctly to save money on your energy bills
  • How a programmable thermostat makes it easy to achieve energy savings
  • The best solution for convenient temperature control and energy savings

How to use a thermostat to save money on your energy bills

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save as much as 10% per year on cooling costs by raising the temperature on your thermostat 7° to 10° for 8 hours a day from its normal setting. For most of us, it’s easy to follow this recommendation during the workweek, when members of our family are gone at school or work at least 8 hours a day.

If you normally keep your house at 75°, to follow this energy-saving recommendation, you’d raise the temperature on your thermostat to 82° or 85°. Raising the thermostat decreases the temperature difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, which reduces the amount of energy your AC uses.

For example, let’s say you leave your thermostat set to 75° all day. If it’s 95° outside, your AC will have to cool your home by 20°. On the other hand, raising your thermostat to 85° means your AC will only have to cool your home by 10°, which cuts down on the amount of energy your AC consumes to cool your home.

How a programmable thermostat makes it easy to achieve energy savings

Before you or a member of your family leaves the house for the day, you could manually raise your thermostat 7° to 10° from your normal, at-home temperature. Then, when you get home, you could adjust the thermostat back down to your desired temperature.

However, manually setting your thermostat each day leaves the possibility for 2 problems:

  1. You may forget to set the thermostat before you leave the house (we’re only human, after all…)
  2. You will have to come home to a warm, 85°-house at the end of the day

A programmable thermostat solves these 2 problems. As its name suggests, a programmable thermostat allows you to control your home’s temperature based on a pre-set schedule. That means you can program your thermostat to follow a workweek schedule, which can automatically raise the temperature on the thermostat by 7° or 10° every day.

A human’s memory may fail from time to time, but a machine doesn’t forget to do its job. Using a programmable thermostat ensures your thermostat will automatically follow your workweek (and weekend) schedule(s)—day in and day out. This leads to consistent energy savings and one less thing you have to worry about every morning before you leave for work.

Plus, you can set your thermostat to lower the temperature 30 minutes before you get home. That way, by the time you walk in the door, your home is already at your preferred temperature and you don’t have to wait for your home to cool down.

Think a programmable thermostat is great? We’ll share an even better option below.

The best solution for convenient temperature control and energy savings

The best thermostat option is a smart thermostat. A smart thermostat has all the schedule-setting features of a programmable model, plus the ability to adjust your home’s temperature remotely via a WiFi connection.

Most of us experience last-minute changes to our weekly work schedules. Maybe your child needs to come home early from school, or you decide to work the rest of the day from home. In those instances, you can remotely control your thermostat via your smartphone so that you never have to come home to an uncomfortably warm house.

You can learn more about smart thermostats by visiting our thermostat installation and replacement page.

Interested in a smart or programmable thermostat?

Our comfort specialists can recommend a thermostat model that fits your comfort needs and budget. When you work with George Brazil, you can always count on stellar customer service and upfront, honest prices for all of our services.

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