Make My Day, Kill A Watt ~ Programmable Thermostats...

Home Inspector with Complete Home Inspections, Inc. TN Lic#050

Make My Day, Kill A Watt ~ Programmable Thermostats...

Make My Day...The average house hold owner will pay thousands of dollars a year in electric bills. Most of the cost will go toward running major appliances. My goal is to reduce my energy consumption by 30% without having to make major changes my lifestyle.

First on the list was the biggest energy hog, the HVAC system. Although I do have a high efficiency dual fuel unit, the thermostat was not programmable. The set-it-and-forget-it mentality has been costing me hundreds of dollars a year. The main purpose of cooling is first to dehumidify then cool. The higher your comfort temperature, the less the unit will have to work and the more money you can save.

Changing my mindset of raising the thermostat to a higher night-time temperature and sleeping under a sheet instead of burying under blankets took a few days to adjust. Once acclimated, I sleep as soundly as I ever did and not waste money.

Programmable thermostats can be purchased online, at home improvement stores or refrigeration outlets. Prices will vary depending upon model, features and where you purchase the item. The money spent on a good one will be money saved in the long run.

At the end of this series, I will post a ledger of money spent vs daily watt hours and money saved. I will let you be the judge if my efforts were worth it...

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Comments (17)

Lindsey Hasford
Edina Realty - Elk River, MN
Bringing you home...

Michael. I had to double take on your post. It must still be warm where you are! I have added a comforter to our beds already. I've been baking a lot the last week to avoid turning on the heat. It's not gonna be long before the fireplace is running. Funny... I was trying to figure out why you would turn up the heat to save money! :) I've got it. I figured it out!

Sep 28, 2010 09:13 AM
Ginny Gorman
RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond

LOL the dirty harry pose...kill those darn varmint watts & i'm right behind you

Sep 28, 2010 09:13 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones


I'm going to be watching your totals..great experiment and I know you will be the winner!!

Sep 28, 2010 09:23 AM
Don Sabinske
Don Sabinske, Sabinske & Associates Inc. - Zimmerman, MN
Sabinske & Associates Inc.

Michael,  I rarely make recommendations to homeowners unless they ask.  But, I always mention the programmable thermostate during an inspection whether there is one or not.  It saves a ton of money for me each year, I am sure. 

Sep 28, 2010 10:10 AM
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Alliance 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Alliance Cincinnati & Dayton suburbs

Michael, We've had one of the programmable ones ourselves.  The most challenging part was learning the wiring hookup needed to make it work, then a piece of cake and savings after that!

Sep 28, 2010 10:29 AM
Dagny Eason
Dagny's Real Estate - Wilton, CT
Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo

We also love our programmable thermostat, and I usually recommend it as a must to all buyers...

Sep 28, 2010 11:37 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

My family has tried to maintain this lifestyle for the past 10 years. If only Al Gore practiced what he preached...

Sep 28, 2010 11:59 AM
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Programmable thermostats are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to save energy. I recommend them always to my energy audit customers, unless they already have one.

Sep 28, 2010 12:22 PM
Marian Goetzinger
Pine Knoll Shores Realty 252-422-9000 - Pine Knoll Shores, NC
Crystal Coast Real Estate NC

Michael, we're spoiled!  I grew up with no air conditioner.  I remember a box fan in the window beside my bed blowing warm, moist air across the room. It was enough.  Now if it gets to be 74 degrees, I'm miserable.  We all need to learn to live a little more frugally.

You have inspired me.  I think I'll see if I can't save a few watts and dollars too.

Sep 28, 2010 01:04 PM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Thanks for the info


Sep 28, 2010 01:13 PM
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector


The graphics are fun there.

Sep 28, 2010 01:20 PM
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


Thank goodness we finally got some cooler evening. Our winter indoor temp is 67, a twelve degree difference from our summer temp of 79!

Sep 28, 2010 01:52 PM
Damon Gettier
Damon Gettier & Associates, REALTORS- Roanoke Va Short Sale Expert - Roanoke, VA
Broker/Owner ABRM, GRI, CDPE

Great suggestion Michael.  I need to get one for my offices.  I try to turn the thermostat up when I leave for the evenings though.

Sep 28, 2010 02:03 PM
Kathryn Acciari
Central One Federal Credit Union - Shrewsbury, MA
Mortgage Loan Originator

A definite yes on the programmable thermostat.  We use it to set both the heating and A/C, and use the laws of gravity to help us save money too.  (In the summer, the upstairs thermostat gets used.  In winter, the downstairs thermostat.)  Let us know how your numbers work out, Michael.

Sep 28, 2010 02:10 PM
Joni Bailey
101 Main St. Realty - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®

The photo is GREAT! LOL 

Watching for results!

Sep 28, 2010 05:12 PM
Kenneth Cole
Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, - Staten Island, NY
NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

In New York City you can get a new programmable thermostat for FREE.  Con Ed, the electric company.

All other customers will pay for it under "other public policy fees and surcharges"

Sep 29, 2010 01:02 AM
Dan Quinn
The Eric Steart Group of Long & Foster Real Estate - Silver Spring, MD
Dan Quinn

I have a programmable thermostat and I never use it.  Go figure.  I will try this out and try to make the adjustment at night.  It just makes good sense.

Sep 29, 2010 05:02 AM