Most people grew up using traditional thermostats to control the temperature of their homes. These are basic thermostats in which you simply set the desired room temperature, and the thermostat works to maintain that temperature within your home. These are available in either standard analog displays or a digital format.
Programmable and Smart Thermostats
If you want the capability to set your thermostat to change temperatures throughout the day and week without manually doing it yourself, you will need a programmable or smart thermostat.
Programmable thermostats will need to be programmed properly and are available in different models:
- 7-day – allows you to program a different temperature schedule for each day of the week (better for erratic schedules).
- 5-2 – allows for one schedule during the weekdays and another for the weekend.
- 5-1-1 – allows for one temperature schedule for the weekdays and a different schedule for Saturday and Sunday.
- 1-week – the least flexible option, but also the cheapest – allows for one temperature schedule for the entire 7-day week.
Smart thermostats, like Nest, Honeywell, and Ecobee3, provide additional features such as WiFi and allows you to control home temperatures while on the go. Most smart thermostats also use machine learning to self-monitor and adjust temperature and humidity for maximum savings. And some will even automatically detect when nobody is home and switch over to energy-saving mode.
Smart Thermostat Features
- Color touch screen
- Voice control
- 7-day programming
- Humidity sensor
- Dirty filter sensor
- HVAC malfunction sensor
- Smart, self-learning features
- Adjustable cycle
- Hold/vacation features
- Stored memory
Which one is right for you – analog, programmable, or smart thermostats? This is a homeowner preference. If you want to save energy on your utility bills, you can use programmable/smart thermostats to turn your thermostat down when you are away from home to save on your heating and cooling bill. The challenge is to make sure to program your thermostat for maximum savings and efficiency.
According to energy.gov (U.S. DOE), “you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting.”
Upgrade to A Programmable Thermostat for Maximum Savings
If you don’t have a programmable or smart thermostat, call the experts at Acree Plumbing, Air & Electric to walk you through your options. There are many options to choose from, but any smart or programmable thermostat will save you money on your HVAC bills.
Unlike traditional thermostats, which are set to just one temperature, programmable thermostats adjust the temperature in your home based on time or day. Try out the ENERGY STAR® programmable thermostat tool and learn more about programmable thermostats (including some of their limitations) on energy.gov.
Benefits of a Smart and Programmable Thermostat
- Cost-Effective – Since you can program your thermostat to change temperatures when you’re not home or you’re asleep, this option allows you to save on your monthly bill.
- Easy-to-Use – Once you set your thermostat, you don’t have to pay it any further attention.
- Classic Design – Traditional design allows your thermostat to blend in with any decorating.
- Consistent Comfort – Once you’ve set your desired temperature, there’s no need to adjust or reset the thermostat.
- Customizable – With seven different temperature options, you can customize your programmable thermostat to fit your lifestyle.
- Energy-Efficient – Since you’re not running your heating or cooling system as much when you’re not home, you’ll use less energy, making this thermostat good for your budget and the environment.
You can save around 7% off your AC bill for every degree above 78 you set the thermostat. Just make sure that your thermostat isn’t near any heat sources, such as sunlight, lamps, and appliances.