The advantages of programmable thermostats

by Beth Jimmerson

Conway Corp’s Energy Smart program is one of the many ways we’re balancing increasing demands for electricity with our commitment to providing affordable rates while also enhancing the quality of life for our friends and neighbors. 

We’re dedicated to making every home in Conway more energy efficient, and that’s why we offer free residential energy audits to help you assess your home’s energy use. A Conway Corp certified energy professional will audit your home to discover where energy is being wasted or lost and give tips to correct these problems. 

The auditor will perform a walk-through inspection of your home to determine its efficiency level by inspecting specific features including attic insulation levels, flow resistance rates, leakage rates and more.

After gathering his findings, he will give the homeowner a personalized framework with energy-efficient recommendations as well as a personalized strategic energy-management plan with money-saving tips.

If you can identify and eliminate excess electric use, you can easily trim away wasted energy dollars. On average, homeowners who follow our auditor’s recommendations see a yearly savings of almost $400 and a life expectancy savings of more than $6,500 

Some recommendations are inexpensive or even free with quick results, while others — like investing in Energy Star appliances — are slightly costlier with a longer return. One cost-effective and simple measure that is often recommended is having a programmable thermostat installed at the home. 

Programmable thermostats make it easy to save money on your heating and cooling bills by resetting your thermostat when you are asleep or away from home according to a pre-set schedule. Best of all, houses that have a programmable thermostat typically save ten percent or more on heating and cooling costs every year. 

These thermostats can store six or more temperature settings for every day of the week plus you can manually override without affecting the rest of the daily or weekly program, so you are guaranteed your comfort. Set the thermostat to 68°F during the winter while you’re awake and set it lower while you’re asleep or away from home. By turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours, you can save as much as one percent for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long. The percentage of savings from setback is even more during milder temperatures. 

In the summer, follow the same strategy with central air conditioning by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are away and lowering the thermostat setting to 78°F only when you are at home and need cooling. Although thermostats can be adjusted manually, programmable thermostats will avoid any discomfort by returning temperatures to normal before you wake or return home.

A common misconception about heating and cooling is that it cost more money to warm or cool a space back to comfortable after the thermostat has been changed resulting in little to no saving. In fact, as soon as your house drops below its normal temperature in the winter, it will lose energy to the surrounding environment more slowly because the lower the interior temperature, the slower the heat loss. The longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you are saving because your house is losing less energy than it would have at the higher temperature. This same concept applies to raising your thermostat in the summer. 

So what kind of programmable thermostat should you get? Conway Corp offers programmable thermostats with our security and automation packages that let you control your home’s temperature from your mobile phone or any smart device. It gives you the control to make your home more efficient when you’re away and more comfortable when you get back. 

To learn more about Energy Smart from Conway Corp or to schedule your free energy audit or home automation inspection, visit or call 501.450.6000. 

Beth Jimmerson
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