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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
Green Building Resource Center
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Page updated Jul 27, 2012 9:40 AM

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thermostat imageProgrammable Thermostats: Set it and forget it

You know that turning the thermostat up or down, depending on the season, can reduce energy costs. The problem is remembering to do it! There’s no reason to heat or cool your home when you are asleep or away. Yet turning down a traditional thermostat at night means cold floors in the morning - making your warm bed even more appealing!

What if the thermostat remembered for you and pre-heated (or pre-cooled) the house before you woke up or got home from work - saving energy and money without sacrificing thermal comfort (after all, isn’t that why heating and cooling were invented)?

Programmable thermostats let you set weekly schedules for heating/cooling so you can save energy (and money!) almost effortlessly. “Override” options let you override usual schedules so that you don’t heat or cool an empty house while away on vacation or a long weekend. That means no re-entering of your weekly schedule once home.

These thermostats are also more efficient. Accurate within two degrees, they prevent energy from being wasted to heat or cool more than the set temperature. The purchase prices for these energy-savers run from $30 to $150. Considering that they can save between $100 and $180 annually, the initial cost could be made up in just one year!

After setting the schedule, there’s no need to remember (or even think) about your heating and cooling to save money. Your feet will thank you in the morning and your wallet at the end of the month!

Choosing a Programmable Thermostat:

Programmable thermostats are available in several models that vary on depending on your budget and the level of customization that you need. To choose the thermostat that is right for you, visit ENERGY STAR’s Programmable Thermostat Buying Guide.

Quick Facts:

The average household spends more than $2,200 a year on energy bills.
Nearly half of that $2,200 goes to heating and cooling.

Green Building Resource Center
301 King St., Room 4100
Alexandria, Va 22314
Fax: 703.519.3356

Office Hours:
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.