The energy saved by letting the house cool down and remain at a lower temperature is much greater than the energy used to warm up the house. It is a popular misconception that it is better to keep your home at a constant temperature because the boiler or furnace will “work harder” to bring the inside temperature back up from a ten degree set-back.
Not so. Your heating system always runs at the same rate when it is on. The main variable is how long it remains on. Studies have proven that turning the thermostat back 10 degrees for an eight-hour period will save you 10% on your heating bill, on average. If you can’t turn your thermostat down 10 degrees, try 5 degrees-there will still be energy savings. The longer your home remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you’ll save.
Programmable thermostats typically pay for themselves in energy savings in the first winter. Programmable thermostats are not recommended for homes with heat pumps or electric baseboard systems. Steam boilers and radiant systems may take longer to heat the house back up, but a programmable thermostat will ‘learn’ in a few days when to start heating the house up to reach your desired temperature setting.