Outside Your Home

As a homeowner, leaving the temperature inside your home constant day and night will most likely cost you money. It's more economical to turn the heat down when no one is home, or at night when you're asleep. And if your home has a setback thermostat, you've got a simple way to do just that. Used properly, that little box hanging on your wall will save you energy -- and energy dollars.

Savings with a setback thermostat can be impressive. Recent studies show that properly using your automatic thermostat could cut your heating costs from 20 to 75 percent. In summer, such devices may shave your cooling costs by 15 to 25 percent. (Your actual savings, of course, will depend on such factors as the climate in which you live, the amount of insulation in your house, the temperature you set your thermostat, and the rate structure of your utility company. Not every home is alike!)

New homes in California with a central heating and cooling system must come with an automatic setback thermostat and they also have much higher insulation levels than older homes. If you have an older home that doesn't have an efficient HVAC unit and the insulation levels are low, you can replace your existing HVAC unit and thermostat and add insulation to make your home more energy efficient.