Homeowners are always on the lookout for ways to decrease their energy bills; simply changing your thermostat could net significant savings over the year, based on local powers rates and the current efficiency of your home’s HVAC system.

Several older homes may still have manual thermostats. Manual thermostats require you to remember to adjust the temperature yourself according to your family’s busy schedule. Based on the family schedule you may be required to make this adjustment several times a day. Manually adjusting the thermostat could be overlooked in your busy routines, causing you to cool or heat your home while away — resulting in wasted energy — or waking up uncomfortably to a room that is too hot or too cold.

Programmable thermostats operate automatically based on a program set to match your family’s busy schedule; the need to manually adjust the thermostat around your schedule is eliminated. Programmable thermostats are a good investment for your home, as they save you money over time. Energy Star-qualified thermostats may bring you even more savings because these models are required to adhere to higher standards regarding energy efficiency.

Programmable thermostats, such as the Honeywell FocusPro 6000®, come preprogrammed with schedules, or you can override these and establish specific day-by-day schedules to maximize your unit’s efficiency based on your family’s needs. Based on Honeywell’s energy-savings information, the FocusPro 6000® could save you up to $143 per year.

Many of the programmable thermostats today also have WiFi connectivity. Honeywell’s VisionPro 8000® allows you to make changes remotely with your Smart devices or computer to your home’s HVAC system in order to maximize both comfort and efficiency. Based on Honeywell’s energy-savings information, the VisionPro 8000® could save you up to $143 per year. In addition to the energy savings from the increased efficiency from heating or cooling space only when it’s occupied, your local power provider may also offer rebates for installing programmable thermostats. For example, Georgia Power customers may be eligible to receive up to a $100 rebate for upgrading from a standard thermostat to a programmable thermostat.

Visit Residential.GeorgiaPower.com for more information. Sawnee EMC will pay a $5 incentive for submitting proof of programming your thermostat Energy Star guidelines. Visit Sawnee.com for more information. Visit your specific power provider’s website for more detailed information.

Installing a programmable thermostat is a convenient way to save on energy bills without sacrificing your family’s comfort.