Saving Money With Programmable Thermostats

As heating and air services take more and more advantage of technology, at least one in eight homes today has a programmable thermostat with a central air conditioning unit. When used properly, a programmable thermostat can help you maintain your HVAC system and save significant costs on your monthly utility bill.

At AirNow Cooling & Heating, we’re here to help. Unfortunately, we see a number of cases of misuse of the programmable thermostat – if you aren’t setting it in the right ways, it won’t provide you the maximum cost-saving benefits. Let’s look at some basic rules of thumb when it comes to the programmable thermostat.

Set Periods

The programmable thermostat allows you advanced control over set periods of time for your home’s temperature. In general, we recommend using longer chunks of time here whenever possible – at least eight hours at a time if you can. Many people find success by simply setting the home to one temperature while they’re generally home, then another while they spend their typical day at work.

Overrides and Holds

Apart from your set programming, these thermostats also offer you the option to temporarily warm or cool a given area. There are two basic features on most of these systems:

  • Temporary holds: These are meant for short periods when you’re home and want to temporarily change the temperature away from your previous settings.
  • Permanent/vacation holds: These are for when you’ll be leaving the house for a longer trip. Take care never to use these for basic daily changes.


Remember that if your programmable thermostat functions on batteries, you have to keep up on changing them – especially if you’re going on a longer trip. Most models will give you a warning when batteries are getting close to dying.

Speed of Cooling

While you may think that ramping up the thermostat to a very high or low number to increase cooling or warming speed is effective, it isn’t. Thermostats heat or cool at a set time, unless you have a specific model called an adaptable recovery unit. Otherwise, there’s no point in using these extremes, and if you aren’t careful, you’ll actually increase your costs this way instead of lowering them.

For more on how to properly use the programmable thermostat to save money, or for any of our AC repair servicesspeak to the pros at AirNow Cooling & Heating today.