Programmable Savings


Awhile back, our town’s recycling center was offering free programmable thermostats if you brought in your manual thermostat.  This was a great offer; my husband and I were ready to take advantage of it.  It simply meant removing the digital, manual thermostat and driving the 5 miles to the center during their exchange hours.  Not so simple with a 1-month old baby suffering from colic.  Unfortunately, we missed our deadline and didn’t get our free programmable thermostat. 

Since then, especially with the drastic temperature changes, I often feel like I’m hovering over the thermostat either increasing the heat or even turning it off.  I find myself getting too warm in the night and too cold in the mornings.  And after paying our last natural gas bill, I began to seriously wonder if investing in a programmable thermostat was worth the time and money.

A few days ago, I started to do a bit of research on the web and this video helped answer my questions and persuade me to opt for a change.

Earlier today,we did some more research and finally decided to drop the $70 for a programmable thermostat from The Home Depot.  Programmable thermostats range from basic models starting at $30 and extend to high-tech touchscreen, WiFi capable models at $100 and beyond.   We decided on a mid-range thermostat because I really wanted the option of the auto change from heat to cool function for those bizarre spring and fall days when we could potentially need both air-conditioning and heat.  I would love to open all the windows instead of resorting to the air-conditioning but my allergies (and crazy protective cats) don’t allow me to do so.  

We chose the Honeywell 5-1-1 Programmable Thermostat.  It allows us to set a program for 4 different cooling periods (Wake, Leave, Return, and Sleep) for Monday-Friday and then 2 separate programs for Saturday and Sunday.  The instruction manual even includes a sample program that aims to cut your heating and cooling costs by 33%. 

The package claims that installation should take 15 minutes which sounded too good to be true.  I am happy to report that this probably would have been the case if my husband didn’t have to paint the wall to cover up the area where the old thermostat had been. 

I’ve used my best judgement to enter the programs for the thermostat, and we will adjust them as we see fit.  I am happy, though, that I will no longer be a slave to the thermostat and will be saving my precious time and money!


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