As the rays of the summer sun shine through your kitchen window, you pause, giving silent thanks for the cool air circulating around you. You know that your utility bills are likely to escalate with the temperatures. The best setting for your AC system is one that will keep you and your family comfortable, without making holes in your pocket by running your HVAC systems longer than necessary. But how do you achieve such an order? One smart method to achieve this is by addressing inefficient wiring in your system like a misplaced c-wire, also known as thermostat wiring, and implementing tools that optimize performance. The menu of such projects might vary based on your specific system and manufacturer, but a holistic approach considering all aspects is essential.
Nobody wants to be uncomfortable while unwinding at home, maybe looking at the latest photo added to your wall, secured with drywall anchors. However, unfortunately, continuously running your system has its cons. It may put you at risk of hefty repair costs or the need for replacing your AC unit. Not to mention the additional strain on associated wiring and electrical systems, which could become a fire hazard if not adequately maintained. So, using wall anchors for an orderly organization of your system can be a wise decision. Although the necessity might not seem apparent always, reference to experts and tutorial videos comes in handy if questions arise.
Want help with a thermostat installation? Even tasks that seem simple, like disconnecting the old device, handling wires, and setting up the new display, could benefit from a professional touch. Understanding the labels, and letters on the wires, might be the first step but having an expert on hand ensures safe and efficient operations. Their expertise adds value to your place.
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Lowering Your Energy Bill
Wondering how to be budget-conscious without sacrificing comfort when in your relaxing home? The answer might be a straightforward change to your AC system, using technology to your advantage: replacing the current thermostat and installing a programmable thermostat. Most of these devices come with wireless functionality and an easy-to-use digital display, which makes managing your comfort no more challenging than navigating a restaurant’s menu.
Your thermostat is an exquisite tool that helps you achieve your desired comfort. Simultaneously, this simple device, using minimal power and thermostat wiring, can be beneficial to your budget. The latest thermostats on the market from top manufacturers, can alleviate pressure on your HVAC system and keep you comfortable during the day’s most critical moments.
Can a Programmable Thermostat Really Lower My Cooling Bills?
Energy Star, the government-backed program certifying products as energy-efficient, passionately declares, “Yes!” when asked if these changes can make a considerable difference. The program reports that cooling costs, which involve power taken from the wall to run your HVAC and wiring systems, account for over 25% of your energy bill. A programmable thermostat can reduce that bill by an average of $180.00 annually.
Designed to adjust the temperature according to a series of pre-programmed settings at different times of the day, a programmable thermostat is like the perfect sous-chef for your home’s climate control. These settings are a breeze to configure and usually don’t require direct wire connections or special tools. Each step in the process is outlined in the manufacturer’s guide. Usually, every programmable thermostat comes with four pre-programmed settings, and many have additional features.Goodbye to the outdated mercury-based manual thermostat with physical wiring, and welcome the era of programmable thermostat that lets you control your cooling and heating depending on the time of the day and location inside your home. The digital display on these devices, akin to an interactive voltage meter, makes them user-friendly and convenient to use. They’re as easy to operate as clicking a pencil on your notepad!
- Digital backlit displays
- Voice and phone programming
- Touch-pad screen programming
- Vacation/hold feature
- Alert to problems with your heating/cooling system
- Alert to change your filter
Remember the old job of leaving for work or a holiday vacation and worrying if you had changed the thermostat setting? You surely don’t want your money to dissipate, cooling a hollow wall cavity of an empty house until you return. Now, with the innovative apps available, you can use your wireless device from any location in the world and program your thermostat via your computer or mobile phone. Just ensure your thermostat’s adapter is functioning well.
Of course, the essential base feature is a highly efficient thermostat that can maintain your home’s ideal comfort level. Proper installation, using correct materials, is a must to ensure correct working, and it should not require any unnecessary overhaul of your existing wiring system. It should also be reliable, easy to use, have the core attribute of a C terminal plug in, and characteristically improve your furnace/cooling system’s energy efficiency.
Things To Consider In Choosing A Programmable Thermostat
Features like seven-day scheduling and an “away” feature that lets you override preset programming are vital for energy management. I mean, who wants to pay for air conditioning when not at home? High-end thermostats cleverly calculate, much like an accountant with a pencil, how long your HVAC system will take to bring your place up to the target temperature. Sensors that monitor equipment issues, remind you of regular maintenance, and integrate a humidifier/dehumidifier in your system are significant for thorough energy management.
Opt for a system designed for easy use, both from the device and via wireless access. If you’re using a remote system, find one with simple controls similar to both the physical unit and the mobile app. This way, you’re learning only one control scheme and have fewer questions to tackle while using the tools.Try to find a store or a company that offers comprehensive customer service options like live chat, phone, and email support. Online tutorials and forums are also a critical ingredient, much akin to scanning through Instagram or Pinterest for a creative project. All you need is a reliable drill, a screwdriver, some masking tape for secure fittings and careful instructions to get you started. Moreover, these platforms can be excellent DIY sites and ways to learn how to change batteries or identify the correct screws to use if your model, perhaps a heat pump, requires it.
Design and Setup
Over time, this thermostat learns, adjusts, and programs itself to your family’s lifestyle and schedule, akin to a personal assistant finely tuning every detail of your busy schedule. Working with most home HVAC systems, it’s essential to check the voltage and certain terminals, including the C terminal, for optimal performance. Some people find this product attractive, and the company provides excellent customer support. It has sensors to monitor temperature, humidity, light, and movement and adjust the temperature automatically whenever the sensors register a change.
Top Rated Programmable Thermostats
Learning Thermostat Price Range: $200-$300
The Lyric, compatible with most 24-volt HVAC systems, supports three-stage heating and two-stage cooling systems. Its Fine Tune feature acts as a microscopic device that analyzes the outdoor weather, temperature, and humidity through an advanced algorithm, optimizing your HVAC system, much like the artistry involved in a musician fine-tuning their instrument.As an owner of a smart thermostat, depending on your model, you may encounter a DIY project needing to drill a hole in your walls to secure the unit with screws. Thus owning a trusty drill could be quite beneficial. The Smart Cues feature promptly notifies you of malfunctions and regular maintenance chores. You can access Honeywell’s technical support via phone, wifi-enabled email or live chat. The Lyric allows you to adjust the settings on different types of controls; using its touch screen, the circular control on the unit, or its mobile app. It’s not the simplest control design, but thanks to the ample information available from the company’s great customer service and online resources like Google and YouTube, it gets high marks in smart thermostat reviews.
Honeywell Lyric Price Range: Under $150
This thermostat offers four heating stages and supports two-stage cooling, which allows you to configure heating and cooling zones when rooms are occupied or empty. This is something quite unique to this type of thermostat. It also has auto-scheduling that analyzes personal living patterns, evaluates weather and humidity. A feature unique to the Ecobee3 is the use of remote sensors to detect motion and temperature in other areas of your home.
Ecobee3 Price Range: $200-$300
During the hot-weather season in Las Vegas, NV Energy recommends the following for households. Notice that taking such steps can also help create a healthier environment for people with respiratory issues.
General Temperature Setting Recommendations for Programmable Thermostats
- Set their thermostat temperature setting between 78 and 80 degrees when they’re at home during the day
- The setting can be raised 5 to 10 degrees during sleep periods or when everyone’s away from home
- In cold-weather season, the agency suggests setting the thermostat at 68 degrees when everyone is at home
- Lower the setting to as low as 55 degrees when not at home
For optimal savings, consider turning your heating or cooling system off completely when you’re away from home for more than four hours. Contrary to popular opinion, it takes less energy to heat or cool an unconditioned home after four hours than it does to keep the system running for the same period. Knowing how to operate the terminals of your thermostat, gleaned from various YouTube tutorials perhaps, can make this process smoother.
That’s because an HVAC system that continues to operate until it reaches your ideal temperature actually consumes less energy than one that continually cycles on and off.
Also, you can have your unit come back on and begin adjusting your home’s temperature 15-30 minutes before your normal scheduled return time. That leaves 8-10 hours of resting time for your system’s unit and your wallet.
The amount of time that your heater or air conditioner needs to run to reach your ideal temperature depends on a number of factors, including the system’s size, the design of your home and the level of insulation of your home’s building envelope.
Extra Savings Tips
You can improve your system’s efficiency with regular home AC maintenance service and with home improvements that make your home easier to heat and cool. A crucial part of that maintenance is ensuring that the type of batteries your thermostat uses are replaced regularly.
Whether you want to enhance your HVAC system’s performance with a scheduled tune-up or install a programmable thermostat, The Cooling Company experts are here to help. We take pride in providing products and services that enhance your comfort at home or your office while lowering your monthly energy bills.
Contact us today to schedule service or to learn more about optimizing your temperature settings. And remember, with the right resources and a bit of a DIY spirit, understanding and maintaining your thermostat can be as easy as following instructions from your favorite Pinterest or Instagram site. Or why not Google or scour YouTube for additional tips and tricks?