One of the easiest ways to reduce energy usage is to install a programmable thermostat. Since most homeowners spend approximately 50% of their annual energy bill on A/C and heating, a simple way to reduce this cost while maintaining a comfortable temperature is what you want to achieve.
A programmable thermostat will automatically adjust the indoor temperature to preset times, which according to Energy Star can save you an estimated $180/year or more. You can program it to adjust the temperature before you wake in the morning or return at the end of the day, so your home is comfortable when needed but not wasting energy when you’re not at home.
If you’re comfortable with wiring and electrical equipment you can install the thermostat yourself following these steps:
- The thermostat should be installed on an interior wall away from sources of heat and drafts such as doorways, windows, skylights, and bright lights. Make sure to install in a location this is not near heating and cooling vents.
- Carefully read the instructions and electrical safety guidelines before attempting the installation.
- Turn off the power supply.
- Remove the old thermostat and wall plate, but use caution because older models can contain mercury which is a toxic substance that should be appropriately recycled.
- Label all wires and secure by tying in a loop.
- Install the wall plate first, then connect the wires following the instructions in the manual.
- Mount the programmable thermostat on the wall plate and turn back on the power.
- Most models include pre-programmed settings to maximize energy efficiency, but you can make adjustments to suit your needs by following the guidelines in the manual.
If you’re inexperienced with the installation of electrical equipment, then it is best to contact an HVAC specialist who can install it properly so that all warranties remain valid.