Set Your Thermostat !

thermostat_cTotal energy savings from correct setting of residential thermostats in the United States can equal the output of 14 large nuclear power plants!*

image courtesy of

  • Correctly setting your thermostat can reduce the amount of energy needed to cool or heat your home by as much as one third.
  • You’ll be helping the economy, helping the environment, and helping your household.

A typical home’s utility bill can be lowered by perhaps $50, $500, or even $1,000 a year (USD) – depending upon where the home is located, how it’s used, how it’s constructed, and how its energy is supplied. Using less utility energy helps reduce power plant emissions and slow climate change.

HiResASet your programmable thermostat for your needs at various times: probably cooler temperatures during sleeping hours or when no one is home. If you have an air conditioning system, set the temperature higher in the summer during hours when no one is home. You can temporarily override the planned setting at any time.

image courtesy of Mervana, iStockphoto

Many homeowners are saving money and the environment by setting their thermostats at appropriate temperatures. If you’re not yet one of them, you can be. If, or when, you are, you deserve a pat on the back for making our planet healthier!


Replace an Old Thermostat

If you have an older thermostat that doesn’t allow you to set different temperatures for different times of the week or day, you can upgrade to a newer programmable unit. An upgrade unit generally costs less than $100. You will probably be able to install it yourself with relatively little effort.

Your author has done his share of procrastinating about replacing that old non-programmable thermostat – but wow, it’s really important and easy to do. So, as I write this, I’m ordering a programmable thermostat.


    video courtesy of Real World Green
Digital Thermostats (3 minutes)



Various models of programmable thermostats offer convenient features like illuminated controls, weekday/Saturday/Sunday options, memory settings that are not affected by power outages, automatic adjustment for daylight savings time, option to power the thermostat by either battery or heating/cooling system, automatic change from heating to cooling, filter change reminder, remote access and self learning. Even if you have a multistage system, gas fireplace, heat pump, electric baseboard heat or other special circumstance, it’s likely that you can find a thermostat model to suit your needs.


    video courtesy of CBS Interactive Inc.
Learning Thermostat (2 minutes)


Be Persistent!

Make a commitment to yourself to review your thermostat settings periodically. Inadvertent or out of date settings could end up wasting energy rather than saving it.


How It Works

Many electronic thermostats use a device called a thermistor, which has an electric resistance that changes with temperature.


    video courtesy of Matt Oehrlein
A technical look at an electronic thermometer (3 minutes)


    video courtesy of Gray Furnace Man
The mechanical thermostat: how it works (10 minutes)

*Conservative estimate based on data from Honeywell International Inc and the World Nuclear Association
Categories: Small Changes

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