Talk to your landlord about installing a programmable thermostat

Why? When your home is empty, your heating and cooling systems are still using energy to maintain the temperature set on your thermostat. A programmable thermostat can be set to automatically use less energy when you're away from home, then revert to your preferred temperature by the time you return. Programming a thermostat makes saving energy easy—you can set it and forget it.
Benefits to your landlord:

More than one-third of homes with central heating or cooling currently use a programmable thermostat. This means that renters increasingly expect to have access to a programmable thermostat to manage their energy use. Installing a programmable thermostat can serve as an attractive selling point, and make their rental a more efficient and cost-effective place to live for current and future tenants.

Step by step:

  1. Ask your landlord to consider installing a programmable thermostat. It is one of the easiest ways for you to save money and for your landlord to improve the energy efficiency of the home.

  2. When selecting a thermostat, encourage your landlord to consider the following:

    • Compatibility with your heating or cooling system. Programmable thermostats are compatible with most homes. If you have a heat pump, your landlord should consult a certified HVAC specialist before selecting a programmable thermostat, since heat pumps can require specially designed thermostats to operate cost-effectively.
    • Number needed. If you have zoned heating or cooling, you may need more than one programmable thermostat.
    • Flexibility. Many models allow separate programming for each day of the week.
    • "Learning" ability or auto-schedule. Thermostats with adaptive recovery abilities can maximize savings by adjusting the settings based on weather conditions like humidity. Other types can learn your schedule without being programmed at all.
    • Remote control. Some newer models can connect to your Wi-Fi at home, so you can program and adjust your thermostat from your phone, tablet or computer.
  3. Program your thermostat for energy savings. Below are a few guidelines to set your programmable thermostat for both comfort and savings.

    • Set your "home-occupied" temperature. As a guideline, the U.S. Department of Energy suggests setting your thermostat to 68°F for heating and 78°F for cooling while you are awake at home.
    • Set your "away from home" temperature. Setting your home's temperature at least 10°F higher in the summer and 10°F lower in the winter is a good rule of thumb.

    • To save even more, create an "asleep" setting, too. Program your thermostat at least 10°F lower in the winter or 4°F higher in the summer while you're sleeping.

Actions you can take now:

  • Even without a programmable thermostat, you can still save energy by manually setting your thermostat to an energy-saving level when you are at home and turning the temperature back when you leave home or go to sleep.

Popularity in your area Help

1,418 people do this

Tip Details

Save up to $180 per year