Programmable Thermostats: Major Home Energy Money Savers

April 26, 2013

Programmable thermostats are powerful tools for homeowners trying to trim heating and cooling costs, improve the efficiency of their HVAC equipment, and extend the lives of their heat pumps and air conditioners. These devices allow you to create pre-set heating and cooling schedules around home occupancy patterns, eliminating the needless operation of your HVAC system.

While programmable thermostats have been around for a while, early models suffered from design flaws that made their use overly complex and, in many cases, downright confusing. Today’s programmable thermostats are far simpler to use, with more intuitive interfaces that make it easy to set, change, and override programs. They come in five main types:

  • Digital Thermostats. Featuring digital displays typically controlled by keypad inputs or remote control, digital programmable thermostats allow you to create different heating and cooling schedules for each day of the week (if occupancy patterns vary from day to day). They hold the greatest potential for achieving an optimal balance of indoor comfort and energy savings.
  • Electromechanical Thermostats. Easy to use and very versatile, electromechanical programmable thermostats are excellent solutions for technology-avoidant homeowners. Unfortunately, they can only hold a single program that will run every day unless manually overridden.
  • Hybrid Thermostats. Combining the best features of digital and electromechanical thermostats, hybrid models hold multiple programs and are fairly easy to use.
  • Light-Sensing Thermostats. This type of thermostat is seen most often in commercial and industrial buildings rather than homes. They use lighting levels as occupancy signals, which kick off programmed heating and cooling schedules.
  • Occupancy Thermostats. These thermostats are more commonly used in cottages and vacation homes rather than primary households, since they regulate temperature in indoor spaces that are unoccupied for extended periods of time.

If you have questions about programmable thermostats, or you’d like to install one in your home, office or vacation property, contact the HVAC experts at Harrell King Heating & Air. Our experienced technicians will help you select the right thermostat, and will instruct you on its proper use upon installation. To learn more, or to arrange service, please contact us today!


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