How to Improve Energy Efficiency with the Right Thermostat for the Home

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We’ve seen a lot more hybrids on the roads around Sacramento and Folsom than we used to. We wonder how many of those drivers know that their home heating and cooling needs contribute more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere than their cars. Whether you’re concerned with saving the environment, or you’re just looking at it from the viewpoint of lowering your home heating and cooling bills every month, Ace Plumbing suggests starting with your thermostat.

We’ve installed and serviced countless HVAC systems over the years, and we’ve come to notice a few things. First, those systems are much more energy efficient than they used to be. Second, if you don’t set them properly, you’ll still waste money even with the added efficiency. Third, getting that efficiency back is a lot simpler than you probably thought possible. has a number of suggestions for improving your home’s energy efficiency, and Ace Plumbing can help with several of the steps — including equipment maintenance, sealing your ducts, choosing the right equipment, and working with a qualified HVAC contractor. One other suggestion they make? Use a programmable thermostat.

Programmable thermostats come in a number of configurations. The simplest ones allow you to set minimum temperatures (below which the heat will kick in) and maximum temperatures (above which your air conditioning will turn on), as well as allowing you to adjust for the time of day and your home occupancy. Some models allow for customization of settings on a 5+2 rotation (one setting for weekdays, and another for weekends), or the ability to customize settings day-by-day.

Smart thermostats take this a step further. You can monitor and control your energy use even when you’re away from home, and your thermostat is part of an electronic ecosystem that makes your whole home work smarter.

There are advantages to programmable thermostats beyond energy efficiency. Nobody likes to be the first one to wake up to a cold house, pad to the thermostat in their PJ’s, and crank it up while everyone else is toasty beneath the covers. If the family’s usually up by 6:30 in the morning, you can program the thermostat to have the house warmed to your desired temperature when everyone’s waking up. You can then program it to turn back down between 8 and 5 (for example), warming the house again as everyone’s arriving home from work or school.

Of course, there’s something of a catch: not all thermostats are compatible with all HVAC systems. To save yourself the trouble of finding and installing the wrong unit, take EnergyStar’s advice: find a quality Sacramento HVAC contractor to suggest the right system and conduct the installation for you.

There are some problems we cannot solve, like the ongoing household battle over the right temperature for your home*. However, Ace Plumbing can help you find and install the right programmable thermostat to make your home more energy efficient and lower your monthly heating and cooling bills — or take advantage of California energy efficiency rebates — so call us for your HVAC needs today!

*68 in the winter, 78 in the summer, per EnergyStar. You’re welcome.