You may have heard it before, but installing a programmable thermostat is one of the easiest ways you can save real money on those rising heating bills.
Programmable models will never "forget" to turn down the heat when you are asleep or likely to be away, meaning the average family will save $180 a year (off the average annual heating budget of $2,000), according to the EPA. The good news is the price of these units has come down a lot in recent years, and they can now be picked up from big box and hardware stores for as little as $50 (also look for sales).
When buying, choose a model that has qualified for the EPA's Energy Star guidelines. Also note that Energy Star has now launched a new campaign to encourage homeowners to get the most out of their programmable thermostats. To make things easy, the site points out that Energy Star-rated models do come with presets that tend to help most typical families save energy.
But the website also lists tips and guidance on choosing the best brand for your home, installation, and various tweaks.
Check out this EPA video on programmable thermostats:
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