Thermostats of today can be a bit overwhelming. But out of all the different settings and programs, the most common question is what the hold button does – but before I can answer this you need to understand a little bit about thermostats and how to program them.
What is a thermostat?
A thermostat is the device that controls your air conditioning. They are typically installed on the walls in hallways, and in the past have come with a little switch or dial to control the temperature of the AC. In recent decades this type has been phased out by newer models.
What are the different types of thermostats?
Dial thermostats are simpler, but digital is the norm now. Digital thermostats have more fine tune control along with being programmable. This programmability allows for you to have the temperature change automatically throughout the day, saving you time and money.
But how much money does a digital thermostat save?
Programming a digital thermostat in the most efficient way, according to Thermostat Center, can save you upwards of 20% or more. This savings is no small change, as a $2000.00 a year AC bill can go down to $1600 with just investing into the right thermostat.
That’s a lot of money! How do I program it in the most efficient way?
You’re going to have to change it depending on the time of the year – at night you’re going to want it cooler, and if you work during the day you can just have the AC off. By setting it up in such a way, you are making sure you are only using the AC when it is needed.
Isn’t it better to keep the house at a constant temperature to save money?
This is actually a myth, as it costs a lot more to maintain the same temperature throughout the day rather than cooling or heating all at once. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends changing the temperature throughout the day, as it is one of the easiest ways to save money.
Do you have any exact times that you would recommend?
According to JC Heating & Cooling (https://www.jccomfort.com/), a La Grange heating and cooling specialist, you should have your AC turn off about 30 minutes before you leave, and 30 minutes before you come home. You should then follow a similar schedule with sleeping and waking – shutting off 60 minutes before bed and 30 minutes before you wake up.
Are there different scheduling functions?
Yes, there are typically four different ways to program thermostats. There are 7 day schedules, there are 5-1-1 schedules, 5-2, and 1 week. The first of these, the 7 day, allows for each day to be programmed, while the others can chunk the programming up.
Wait, what if I’m stuck at home for the day and the AC automatically turns off?
That’s where the ‘Hold” function comes into play. By setting your digital thermostat into the hold spot you are bypassing this programming and allowing the AC to continue working while you are at home. When you need it to follow its schedule again just turn the hold function off.
Wait, why use the hold function if I can just program around it?
While programming isn’t necessarily difficult, it can be a bit unnecessary. By using hold you are keeping your old schedule in place, just suspending it for a set amount of time. When you move the thermostat back into the run position it will automatically go back to that schedule.
So, what is the ideal temperature to set my thermostat at?
It really depends on the time of the year. Ideally, you’re going to want to set your thermostat at around 78 degrees during the summer months, and 68 degrees in the winter months. As before, you can schedule these temperatures higher or lower when you are away from the house.
What if I don’t install it correctly?
Installing a thermostat only needs a basic understanding of electrical work. Lowes breaks down the whole process to just a dozen simple steps – all you should need is the thermostat, a drill, a level, a screwdriver, some drywall anchors, and some batteries to get started.
What about smart thermostats?
Smart thermostats connect to your wifi allowing you to control your AC with your phone. These thermostats have all the above setting and programs, along with several more that learn from your schedule – creating an efficient and personable plan for you.
Is there anything else I should know? As you can see a digital thermostat isn’t as befuddling as it first seemed. Programming a schedule is smart, but can easily be overwritten for a time with the hold setting. When in doubt, look at your manual for the best course of action.