In general, families can save as much as 10 percent on heating and cooling costs just by reducing the set temperature of their home by 7 to 10 degrees for as little as eight hours a day. Energy experts agree that all heating and air conditioning thermostat temperatures should be reduced when the house is empty. Technology has recently introduced impressive leaps in thermostat programmability and connectivity. Luckily, the installation of a programmable thermostat is easy and doing so can save homeowners even more money when they are used properly.
The newest programmable thermostats have become easier to install and use. The most program flexibility can be found in a 7-day model. These allow homeowners to set different programs for each day of the week with up to six temperature periods per day. It’s counterpart, the 5+2 model, uses one schedule for weekdays and another for weekends. Both types of thermostats can store and repeat their multiple daily settings. Even if someone manually overrides the preset schedule, most models will reset themselves at the next programmed interval.
Some models will even switch automatically between heating and cooling depending on air temperatures inside the home. Choosing a programmable thermostat’s features will largely depend on your family’s schedule and personal preferences. Also be sure to know your system’s specifications as some unit require specialized thermostats.
The 21st Century has seen a lot of smartphone connectivity and our homes’ HVAC thermostats are no different. Wi-Fi thermostats are now being offered that offer feedback, remote programming, and geofencing. Homeowners can control their thermostats while they are away and even invoke temperature changes just by pulling into their own driveways. Not only that, many of the most recently released thermostats offer digital interfaces, allowing for easier access and usability.
Bluetooth compatible thermostats are usually able to learn a user’s habits and adjust themselves accordingly. Homeowners may even have the option to receive monthly energy reports in order to help them make changes and save more money on their utility costs.
Programmable thermostats are generally a useful addition to any home’s heating and air conditioning systems, but there are some things to consider. Be sure you know your system’s type and voltage requirements. For example, heat pump applications require a specialized thermostat. Do your homework, choose your desired flexibility, get to know your HVAC system’s requirements and then prepare to watch your utility bills drop.
What other factors might you consider when choosing a programmable thermostat for your home?