The Thermostat: Develop Energy-saving Habits

The thermostat is the brain of your heating system. The more wisely you use it, the more money you'll save.

Turn It Down When You Are Not Around

Don't pay for heat you don't need—keep your thermostat low while you're away at work or on vacation. It takes less energy to warm a cool home in the evening than to maintain a warm temperature all day long.

Don't Crank It Up

68 degrees is great for daytime use. But you can trim your heating bills by 5 to 15 percent—or more—by setting your thermostat even lower at night, consistent with any health, comfort and safety requirements.

Install A Programmable Unit

To enjoy savings and make yourself comfortable when you need to be, install an inexpensive "setback" thermostat. They range widely in cost and features, but even the lower cost ones will do the job. You can program them to turn your furnace off and on at set times. For example, you can program your thermostat to shut the furnace off an hour after you go to bed, and turn it on an hour before you get up—automatically saving energy.

Be sure to locate the thermostat properly—five feet above the floor on an interior wall away from windows, drafts, heating registers and return air grills. Unless you are certain about how the thermostat should be wired, it is wise to have a professional heating contractor install the thermostat.