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Healthy Home: Save Energy and Money with a Programmable Thermostat - October 15, 2012
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Digital thermostatAccording to Energy Star, the average household spends more than $2,200 a year on energy bills – nearly half of which goes to heating and cooling. An easy way to help lower your heating/cooling bill is to purchase, install and properly set a programmable thermostat. And you’ll be reducing your home’s emissions with the push of a button!

A programmable thermostat allows you to vary your home’s temperature based on your schedule. So, in the heating season when you’re at work, the thermostat lowers the temperature, then automatically raises it when you get home. The only evidence that your house was cooler while you were away will be a lower utility bill.

Other benefits of a programmable thermostat can include a hold feature for vacations or extended absences, a change filter indicator, outdoor temperature, and even remote programming/monitoring from a smart phone or computer.

The cost of a programmable thermostat starts at around $35 for a basic model. More advanced models with more detailed programming functions/features will cost more – including plenty of options in the $50 to $100 range. With average utility bill savings at about $180 a year, homeowners will quickly recoup the cost of the new thermostat.

Replacing your old thermostat with a programmable model is an easy do-it-yourself task for most homeowners. If you can set your clock radio, programming your new thermostat shouldn’t pose a problem. Energy Star is a good resource for information on buying a programmable thermostat.

Keep in mind your old manual thermostat may contain mercury (a toxic substance). Proper disposal of your old thermostat is important!

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