Programming your thermostat, the right way

Programming your thermostat, the right way

Programming your thermostat, the right way, will not only make your home more comfortable but will also save lots of money.


Many studies have been done in households with a programmable thermostat, and the conclusion is that overwhelming majority of homes do not program their thermostat at all and only use it to switch between heat or cold depending on the season. Other households programmed the thermostat once, when they bought it, and never actually sat down and charted a family schedule and programmed it based on that data.

So, first and most important, put the schedule of your family together, here is a basic schedule that I’ve put together

thermostat schedule worksheet



During the late Fall/Winter/Early Spring in MN you want to keep warm. Try not to go over 72 degrees, otherwise your furnace will never shut off.

When everyone leaves the house you can lower the heat by 5-7 degrees.

About 30-45 minutes before you come back turn the heat back up by 3-4 degrees and during the dinner time you should have it at your max. Your max will probably be different from mine.

At the usual time the adults go to bed, turn your heat down by 2-3 degrees. There is no need to waste the heat if you’re cozy under the blankets, plus most scientists agree that the optimal temperature for sleeping should be below 68-67 degrees.

The same principles should apply during the warmer month and summer.

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To save on energy, do not crank up the AC, let your house cool slowly. When no one is at home lower the temperature. Cool the slowly. After 5-6 PM as the evening come, the house will start to cool naturally, so up your temperature so that AC doesn’t work so hard.

Basic instructions on programing a generic thermostat can be found here.

You can download our Thermostat Spreadsheet for FREE.

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