Saving Money with a Programmable Thermostat

Yesterday, I installed a Honeywell programmable thermostat to automatically regulate the temperature in my house. It will work well as my schedule is pretty typical for the work week. It was relatively easy and only involved disconnecting the old thermostat and reconnecting 4 wires.  Fortunately, all of the wires were correctly labeled Yellow, White, Red, and Green so it made installation a breeze!  Follow the instructions that are included with your unit.

Now, I need to work out the details as far as the programming.  Here are the factory defaults for the work week.

Winter:

  • 6:00 AM – 70° F
  • 8:00 AM – 62° F
  • 6:00 PM – 70° F
  • 10:00 PM – 62° F
Summer:

  • 6:00 AM – 78° F
  • 8:00 AM – 85° F
  • 6:00 PM – 78° F
  • 10:00 PM – 82° F

Now, I won’t be talking about the summer settings as I am not able to figure those out at the moment.  I tried the default settings for this morning and it seemed like the furnace was running the whole two hours to try to get the house back up to 70° F.  This can’t be good.  I never kept the house this warm with the old thermostat. So here’s my first attempt at a modified schedule.  I’ll update this post after I let it run through a bit.

Winter:

  • 6:00 AM – 66° F – I’ll keep it a bit warmer for waking up in the morning.
  • 8:00 AM – 60° F – This seems like the minimum I should go for right now.
  • 6:00 PM – 65° F – I used to keep it at 65° whenever we were home with the old one.
  • 11:00 PM – 62° F – Turning the heat down at night will be new to me to help save money.

I do not feel like our house is well insulated, so I wanted to keep the temperature swings a bit less to prevent the furnace from running for hours to heat the house back up to a reasonable temperature.  I have also seen other sites recommend turning it back 10-15 degrees, but I have tropical fish tanks in the house so I do not feel comfortable going much lower than 60°.  The fish tank heaters will only compensate 15-20 degrees of ambient temperature.  The fish like to be at least 75°.

Here are two other websites with more information on using a programmable thermostat.

1/21/2009 Update:  The temperature settings seem to be working well.  I just hope it ends up lowering my gas bill!

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14

01 2009

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