Talk to your landlord about installing a programmable or smart 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:

Installing a programmable or smart thermostat can serve as an attractive selling point, and make the 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 make sure to purchase one that is specially designed to operate with heat pumps.
    • Number needed. If you have zoned heating or cooling, you may need more than one programmable thermostat or to install additional room sensors.
    • Flexibility. Many models allow separate programming for each day of the week.
    • Smart features. 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.
    • Wi-Fi or other connectivity. 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 "homeoccupied" temperature. Setting your thermostat is a personal decision. The temperature you choose will be determined by your household members' preferences and comfort. As a guideline, set your thermostat to 20°C for heating and 26°C for cooling while you are awake at home.
    • Set your "away from home" temperature. Program the thermostat to an energy-saving level for when your household members are away. Natural Resources Canada suggests setting your thermostat to 17°C when you are asleep or not at home.

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 down when you leave home or go to sleep.

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