Yay programmable thermostat!

Back at the start of March I finally got around to installing a programmable thermostat that I've had for well over a couple of years now. Since our house has 2 living floors (plus the basement) I decided to put it on the upstairs unit since that's the one that has to run the A/C a lot more.

It's just a fairly inexpensive unit I got at Home Depot. But it does allow you to custom program for each day of the weekend, plus the whole block of weekdays. It also has a 'special' day program for weekdays where you can override it when you might find yourself at home. It allows four different dayparts with a set temperature for each daypart (and you can adjust the time frame for each daypart to match your needs.) You can also tweak the temperature for each daypart as needed and put a longterm 'hold' at a certain temperature if you're going to be out of town.

But the best part is for day-to-day living. Now instead of having to constantly tinker with the thermostat and worry if I left the A/C running all day while at work I can just leave it alone and let it do it's thing. While we're gone, I have it programmed to get up to 85 so we're not wasting energy. But about an hour before Holly comes home, I have it kick on and bring the temperature down to a more tolerable 75 so it's pleasant by the time she walks in the door. Then at 8:00 when Laney goes to bed, the temperature drops down a couple degrees more. Then at 10:00 when Holly's in bed, it drops a little more (we like it cool when we sleep.) When Laney and I are leaving the next morning the cycle repeats and it lets the temp rise back up to 85.

It's already had a big impact on our energy bill. We're on levelized billing so any changes made based on usage are only gradual. But our usage was so much lower this March and April compared to the same time last year (despite it being warmer this year) that our next bill is going to be adjusted down $30. Considering I paid roughly $60 for the unit that's pretty good. *ahem* If only I'd installed this thing when I first got it . . . .

Now that I've finally seen my power bill go down for the first time in years it's got me turning into a miserly old man looking for other places to save. Rather than having 2 out of my 3 desktop computers on 24/7 (as they have been in the past) I'm now going to have them both go into standby mode (with the ability to wake each over the network as needed.) Yes, I am a geek. But hopefully a geek with a slightly lower energy bill because of it.

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