Programmable Thermostats: Innovation or Hype?
Keeping your unit running constantly when you aren’t at home can be costly, but there is a way to fix that! Programmable thermostats. A programmable thermostat gives you the luxury of keeping your house at an acceptable temperature during the day when you might be gone, but still have a satisfying temperature when you get home. A programmable thermostat is designed to adjust the temperature according to a series of programmed settings that take effect at different times of the day, week, or even when you are on vacation. It’s totally up to you!
Sound to good to be true?
It’s really not. Programmable thermostats can save up to 10% on your utility bill as well as wear and tear on your unit. One of the biggest mistakes people make is turning off the air or heat while they are away. However, this can put your home at risk of dampness, mold growth, and burst pipes. Programmable thermostats are great for these issues.
First things first, how expensive are these programmable thermostats? The price can honestly depend on what you are looking for and what fits your budget. Programmable thermostats can range anywhere from $50 to $700, depending on how fancy you are wanting/willing to go and the brand that will best fit your unit. There are regular programmable thermostats that you set from home, but there are ones you can control with Wi-Fi from your phone or computer. Both options are great depending on your needs.
Here are a couple of examples:
If you are a family that leaves the house by a certain time every day and have a fairly regular schedule throughout the week, a modest programmable thermostat might be your optimum choice. You can easily create different programs or schedules for weekdays and weekends.
However, if you have someone that doesn’t know how to work this type (or any type) of thermostat or simply doesn’t want to learn, a wi-fi thermostat might be the way to go. You can control it from your phone and save yourself time running home or to a relative’s (parent’s) house that might need help.
After installing a Programmable thermostat, the first thing you need to do is make sure you have it set for the right temperatures. Unused rooms during the day can easily be set anywhere from 64°-68° in the winter and 78°-80° in the summer. This way the heat/air is not on constantly throughout the day when no one is around, and it also keeps the house at a temperature where you won’t run into the problems mentioned above. If you happen to have zoning in your house, you can set the rooms for different temperatures, regardless if you are out for the day or not. If you are home you might spend a lot more time in the living room than your bedroom during the day, so you would be able to program your unoccupied bedroom at an appropriate temperature based on the season. There are several different ways to schedule your thermostat and what’s great, is it is all about YOUR needs.
The next thing important thing you need to know is that it will take roughly about an hour for a house to adjust comfortably to your desired temperature when you get home. You don’t want to ramp up your unit in order to heat or cool your home so fast that your savings go out the window. If you know that you will be home at five, set your thermostat to start cooling or heating your home around four. This make take some time to figure out, however. Your home may only need thirty minutes to adjust to your chosen temperature or it may take an hour. Alternative conditions like outdoor air temperature, house size, insulation, and age of unit might all affect how fast or slow you house will reach your desired temperature. (The newer thermostats will be able to figure out if they didn’t cool down on time and start earlier the next day.)
However, if you have someone that doesn’t know how to work this type (or any type) of thermostat or simply doesn’t want to learn, a Wi-Fi thermostat might be the way to go. You can control it from your phone and save yourself time running home or to a relative’s (parent’s) house that might need help.
If this information has peaked your interest on programmable thermostats, don’t hesitate to call us and ask questions! We can’t wait to hear from you!