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Programmable Thermostats – Getting The Right One And The Right Schedule

The programmable thermostat has become very popular because it allows people to adjust the indoor temperature of their home through a series of programmed settings that take effect at different times during the day.

The idea is to create a schedule that increases energy efficiency, so that heating and cooling costs can be reduced.

The key, however, is using the programmable thermostat correctly so that it truly saves money.

Due to lack of persistence or lack of education on how to use a programmable thermostat, there isn’t a lot of data in residential field studies that show whether true savings have been achieved.

However, field studies only cover a few subjects, as people throughout the country have relied heavily on their programmable thermostats for temperature control and savings for several years.

Establishing A Thermostat Schedule

First, it’s all about having the right thermostat.

For instance, a thermostat with 7-day programming may work well for a family that has an erratic schedule.

This is a flexible option, allowing you to set your heating/cooling schedule for the next 7 days individually

  • A 5-1-1 thermostat give you the same settings for weekday and individual settings for Saturday and Sunday
  • A 5-2 thermostat gives you the same settings for weekdays, and Saturday and Sunday have the same settings
  • A 1-week programming thermostat will have the same setting for every day of the week

One major key to making a programmable thermostat work for you is choosing one that has the right scheduling style to meet your family needs.

Once you have your thermostat, there are several different programming options:

  • Sleep time
  • Wake time
  • Leave time
  • Return time

The Department of Energy has made suggestions that can help save up to 15% on off your energy bill.

How To Get The Most From Your Smart Programmable Thermostat

Winter months:

  • During sleep hours, lower the temperature by up to 15 degrees
  • When you’re home, leave the thermostat temperature at 68 degrees

Summer months;

  • Air conditioning should be set at 78 degrees while you’re home
  • If you don’t need cooling, manually shut off the air conditioning
  • Program the air conditioner to shut off when you’re not home
  • Set the air conditioning to turn off 20 to 30 minutes before leaving home
  • Turn on the heat or air 30 minutes before you come home
  • Turn down the heat or air an hour before going to bed each night

Spend a few days adjusting the time to make sure it feels right to you.

Another thermostat option is the WiFi enabled thermostat so you can control the temperature of your home when you’re away.

This is an even greater tool for keeping you from wasting energy.

For example, it can be easy to forget to create a new program before going on vacation. If that’s the case, you can create your program from an app installed on your smartphone.

Programmable Thermostat Tips

It’s important to stick with the manufacturer-recommended durations.

However, Metro Heating & Cooling can set you up with a programmable thermostat and teach you how to use it so you get the most out of it.

With professional help, you can feel more confident that you have the right type of thermostat and that you are using it in a way that will achieve the energy savings that you are looking for.

Some other tips:

  • Be careful about using the “auto setting” because one of those settings may be for the blower fan, while another may toggle between heat and cooling.
  • Be careful when you set your “back” temperature and what you set it to because you don’t want your system to overwork itself.
  • Get to know the owner’s manual even when your professional thermostat installer shows you how to use it. It’s good to know the device well.


A programmable thermostat can be a great tool in your home, especially when you have the right one properly installed, and know how to make the most of it.

Why not speak to Metro Heating to see how you could benefit from a programmable thermostat?

Simply Contact Us at (651) 294-7798 today and tell us how we can help you.

Schedule a HVAC repair anywhere in the Minneapolis or St. Paul area today by calling (651) 294-7798 or by requesting an estimate online.


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1220 Cope Avenue East, Maplewood, MN 55109