Let’s face it, as a society many aspects of our lives are made easier with the introduction of increasingly complex technology. Many of us love our latest gadgets, but others are more hesitant to adopt new tech until they feel that they cannot avoid it. This is unfortunate because when it comes to heating and cooling technology is an innovative field. In recent years, the pace of advancement has been astonishing, and there are significant benefits to enjoy. Today, we will be taking a closer look at programmable thermostats, we’ll explain how they can make your life easier and how you can save money on your energy bills too.
Understanding Programmable Thermostats
Before we get into the meat and potatoes of this article, let’s define what we mean by the term programmable thermostat to ensure that we’re on the same page. A traditional manual thermostat requires constant attention, you must adjust the temperature manually and this is an efficient way to control the indoor environment. A programmable thermostat is different; there are usually at least four schedules that you can pre-program to meet your heating or cooling needs. At these pre-set times, the temperature is adjusted automatically ready for your return from work or school.
Why Would I Want a Programmable Thermostat?
Hopefully, we’ve given you an interesting overview of programmable thermostats. You may be intrigued, but the next logical question is why would I want one? Let’s take a closer look at four good reasons why you may want to install a programmable thermostat in your home, they are:
1. Increased Energy Efficiency
During the last few years, we’ve all experienced considerable problems and rising energy costs have increased significantly. A programmable thermostat saves energy because less energy is wasted on heating or cooling an empty home. Although we try to set a traditional timer thermostat accurately, there are times when we are delayed. The scheduling options of a programmable unit will allow you to set more accurate timings for work days, school days, and weekends. It’s a simple axiom, if you’re not wasting energy you will increase your energy efficiency and your energy bills will be lowered.
2. Saving Money
The Department of Energy has estimated that most homes could save around 10% on their annual utility bills with a temperature difference of just 7º-10º. This temperature change needs to happen for at least eight hours of the day to gain the maximum savings. But, this is simply not possible if you have a thermostat that needs to be adjusted, unless you made that change when you’re at home. The entire purpose of an HVAC system is to make the indoor spaces comfortable so you may be wondering how this can be achieved. The answer is to set those temperature changes for when the home is empty and then bring it back to the comfortable setting for your return. This simple trick is achievable with a programmable thermostat and a fast return on the investment is certainly possible.
3. Saving Time
A programmable thermostat is a real time saver because there is no need to adjust the thermostat before leaving the home. Many people forget to change the thermostat and this simply wastes money on heating or cooling an empty home. The preset schedules save a lot of time and you have peace of mind that you don’t need to track the temperatures manually.
4. Improving Indoor Comfort
A programmable thermostat can make your home more comfortable because the temperature can be adjusted automatically to meet your needs. So, a short time before you wake the thermostat will start to heat or cool the home. There is no lag time when people feel too hot or cold as they try to get ready for the day ahead. As the last person leaves the home, the temperature can drop or rise by the aforementioned 7º-10º to save money. Just before the first person returns home, the temperature is adjusted again to the optimal level for comfort.
How Do You Choose the Best Programmable Thermostat?
Like many tech advances, there are many possible choices that can make a final purchasing decision tricky. Each unit will have at least four basic programmable schedule settings, they are: wake, leave, return and sleep. These cover most needs, the times are customizable and this makes it easy to get the perfect schedule. After considering these basic needs there are three questions that you can answer to help you make the right choice. They are:
1. Are You a Technophobe?
Many people are suspicious of new technology and they may want to avoid smart thermostat options (more on these below). If this is the case you will probably find the transition to a programmable thermostat easier and the learning curve is pretty shallow. If you really enjoy using gadgets and exploring new technology, you may find that a smart thermostat is an ideal fit. They are more expensive, but they offer more programmable monitoring options to maximize the performance and energy efficiency gains.
2. Do You Have a Rigid Schedule?
If you tend to keep a rigid 7-day schedule with the same heating or cooling needs, it’s easier to fit a programmable thermostat into that lifestyle. A 5+2 unit has a schedule for the weekdays and a second schedule setting for the weekends. Another option is a 5-1-1 unit that has a single schedule for weekdays, a second setting for Saturday, and an extra setting for Sunday.
3. Do You Want a Smart Thermostat?
The ultimate in programmable control for your HVAC system is a smart thermostat. Depending on the exact system that you choose, there are a number of useful features, such as remote programming, maintenance reminders, WiFi compatibility, touch screen controls, voice recognition, and even weather tracking. Some units can even learn your routine and anticipate your home comfort needs. The system can be controlled remotely via a dedicated app installed on your smartphone in real time.
If you’re ready to upgrade to a programmable thermostat, contact your local heating and cooling specialist today.