In houses with central heating and cooling systems,
using a programmable thermostat can be an effective way of reducing energy consumption.
Almost fifty percent of homes in Canada have programmable thermostats.
Using them properly can equal energy savings.
Programmable thermostats have clocks
that can automatically turn the temperature up or down at specified times.
During the day, when you’re not home, or at night when you’re sleeping, reducing the temperature can save you money
without affecting the comfort level of your home.
The average household temperature in Canada is around 21 degrees.
According to our research, lowering the temperature 2-3 degrees from the average
was the optimum point for energy savings.
The more you reduce the temperature, the more you will save;
however, if you set the temperature too low, it can affect humidity and air circulation in the house.
In the winter, if you allow the house temperature to drop 4-6 degrees below the average, you will create a more humid environment.
This can lead to condensation and moisture issues.
Condensation on windows is the first sign of excessive humidity.
Closing blinds and curtains can also increase the occurrence of condensation.
Moisture is not the only consideration;
setting the temperature too low can also effect air circulation.
If the temperature is set to go from 21 degrees to 16 degrees at night,
the house will take a long time to cool down.
During this time, the furnace fan will not be operating,
unless you set it to run continuously.
Running the fan continuously will help with air circulation but will increase electricity consumption.
Setting the temperature back 2-3 degrees and keeping interior doors open will help keep the air circulating.
It will also ensure that the house returns to a comfortable temperature in a reasonable amount of time.
Programming your thermostat to return to a comfortable temperature before you get home and before you get up in the morning will ensure that you benefit from energy savings while maintaining a comfortable home.
A manual thermostat can also be set at lower temperatures during times when you are not at home or when you are asleep.
This will lead to energy savings but without the convenience of a programmable thermostat.
If you have a house with moisture problems in the winter such as mould, condensation on windows, or other humidity problems, get these problems fixed before you start lowering the temperature.
If your house is in good condition and you can set the thermostat to match your schedule, then using a programmable thermostat will help you save money and energy.