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Programmable thermostats are all the rage today, and with good reason. If you’re thinking of upgrading your outdated home temperature controls, here’s everything you need to know about programmable thermostats.

How programmable thermostats work

Programmable thermostats are either digital or electromechanical, or sometimes a mixture of both. Digital versions offer the most versatility in terms of programming individual days separately, but electromechanical versions tend to be easier to program.

All programmable thermostats offer the same features as regular thermostats with the added ability of programming setback periods. They are sleek, have large displays and don’t detract from your home’s d├ęcor.

Advantages of programmable thermostats

Aside from having a sleek appearance, programmable thermostats offer many benefits, including:

  • Year-round savings: All you need to do is set the temperature back when you’re away or sleeping and the energy savings accumulate on their own.
  • No discomfort: When you attempt to set back a regular thermostat, a comfortable temperature only resumes after you change it by hand. However, the programmable option changes the indoor temperature automatically based on the settings you program, meaning you never wake up or come home to an uncomfortable home, but you save money nonetheless.

How to program different schedules

As you program your thermostat for the first time, think about when you normally go to bed and wake up. Then, think about when you leave for work and when you return. For most people, the only time the home needs to stay at a comfortable temperature is in the evening before bed and in the morning before work.

However, don’t forget to consider your family members’ schedules as well. While setbacks of eight hours or more are best, it still makes sense to schedule setbacks if the home is completely vacant for a stretch of four hours or more.

Types of systems designed for programmable thermostats

Programmable thermostats work best with furnaces and air conditioners. However, special versions are sold by a few companies for heat pumps, electric resistance heating, radiant floor heating and steam heat.

Where to install a programmable thermostat

To prevent “ghost” readings, improve efficiency, and promote peak performance, install your programmable thermostat in the right location. This location should be:

  • Out of direct sunlight at all times
  • Away from drafty areas
  • Away from doorways and windows
  • Away from skylights
  • In a central location
  • In a convenient place for programming

Guidelines for using a programmable thermostat

The setbacks you program vary by season and days of the week:

  • In the winter: Keep the thermostat at 68 to 70 degrees while you’re home and set it down 10 degrees while you’re gone at work all day or sleeping at night. The result is up to 1 percent savings for each degree, as long as the setback period is eight hours or longer.
  • In the summer: Follow the same strategy, only let your home get 10 degrees warmer while you’re away and keep it at about 76 to 78 degrees while you’re home. Setting the temperature back at night in the summer might not be an option, since it’s difficult to sleep in overly hot conditions.
  • On different days of the week: Many programmable thermostats can store multi-day settings so you can program weekends and weekdays separately, or even program individual settings for each day of the week.
  • While on vacation: All programmable thermostats let you override the pre-programmed settings, but if you’re going away on vacation, be sure to use the permanent hold. That way, you’ll save energy every day you’re absent. Be sure to program the thermostat to resume a comfortable temperature before you arrive home.

Advanced technology

As if programmable thermostats weren’t convenient enough, they continue to improve thanks to advancing technology. For example, you can now find “smart” thermostats that allow you to control the temperature settings remotely. All you need is a computer, tablet or smartphone with the thermostat’s app and an Internet connection. Then, you can change the temperature in your home wherever you are. Smart technology is beneficial for people who:

  • Often forget to program the thermostat before leaving home
  • Have unpredictable or irregular schedules
  • Travel a lot and want to save money during their absence, but don’t want to come home at an unpredictable time to an uncomfortable home

Programmable thermostats have so much to offer. To learn more about having a programmable thermostat installed in your Tampa home, please contact Senica Air Conditioning, Inc. today. We’re happy to answer all your questions and provide the quality HVAC service you deserve.

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