Sign up to receive our updates

* indicates required
Close

Practical Sustainability: Get Smart About Your Thermostat!

School’s out for Winter Break.  The holiday season is in full swing.  And, like many, you may be heading south for a touch of sunshine.  Or north to find a “White Christmas.” Or away to visit family in another part of the country.  When you’re making a pre-travel vacation "to do" list, make sure to include “Change the Thermostat” as one of your entries. 

According to the US Department of Energy, “heating and cooling account for about 48% of the energy use in a typical U.S. home, making it the largest energy expense for most homes.”  Not only does heating and cooling impact your wallet, but it also takes a toll on the environment in the form of excess electricity that needs to be generated and additional carbon-emitting fossil fuels that are burned to generate the warm or cool air.

Smart or programmable thermostats are everywhere these days.  Standard features include the ability to handle multiple settings per day and special schedules for weekends or vacation times.  Many will let you monitor and change your home’s temperature from your smart phone.  Some, like the Nest Learning Thermostat, are even smart enough to learn your habits when you don’t have time or inclination to set up a program.

By using a smart, programmable thermostat, you may be able to save 10% - 20% on your heating and cooling bills (savings calculators abound on the Internet - just search "programmable thermostat energy savings calculator" and have your utility bill handy so you can enter your fuel costs into the calculator). 

Many of us remember the old TV announcers imploring “don’t touch that dial!”…well this time, I say go ahead and “touch that dial.”  Set your thermostat to turn down the heat when you sleep or when you are away at work.  If you live in an air conditioning climate, do the opposite. 

And, this holiday season, remember to change the thermostat when you leave your home on vacation.  You’ll see a difference in your bottom line and make a difference for our planet.

Happy New Year and safe travels from Sunset Green Home!

Print Friendly and PDF