Your Guide to Buying a Programmable Thermostat

In this era of smart homes, a programmable thermostat is a basic requirement for energy savings. By correctly syncing your home heating and cooling systems with your family’s schedule via a programmable thermostat, you can significantly reduce the dollars otherwise wasted by heating or cooling when no one will be at home. The key is selecting the model that will best optimize your energy savings without sacrificing your family’s comfort.

Digital Thermostat Basics

According to Energy Star, features available in the latest HVAC controllers include:

• Backlit digital display that provides key information
• A touchpad for programming
• Override or hold features
• Maintenance information
• Malfunction warnings
• Smart recovery feature that self-adjusts to changes in ambient air temperature

You may also come across specialty features, including:

• Digital thermostat with voice or remote programming
• WiFi thermostat with Internet monitoring capabilities

Which Model is the Best for You?

One of the most important criteria to consider when selecting your new programmable thermostat is whether it will work efficiently with your HVAC system. For example, you don’t want a controller designed exclusively for your furnace when you also have an air conditioner.

Similarly, if your heating and cooling equipment features the latest technology, a basic thermostat may not have the capacity to cover all of the functions. This is especially true if you have a zoned system or sophisticated heat pump equipment. Be sure to determine whether the digital thermostat you intend to buy is compatible with the brand and complexity of your system.

Another consideration is ease of operation. Many manufacturers pre-program their products with default settings that you can use immediately upon installation. Then, you can adjust it to your household’s schedule when time permits.

Price is another consideration that likely affects your buying decisions. With prices ranging from under $100 for a basic model to over $1000 for a high-tech WiFi thermostat with remote access, you have a wide array of choices. Provided that you have done the necessary research to determine the functions you need, the price of the unit may be the deciding factor for your final selection.

Installation of Your New Thermostat

The easiest way to get your new thermostat up and running right away is to have your HVAC technician wire and program it during a regular maintenance or repair visit. If you have basic electrical experience, you may be able to hook it up yourself, but be sure to follow safety precautions.

When it comes to choosing, installing and programming the right thermostat, you can bypass the guesswork and get the professional help you need. Get in touch with us at AirNow HVAC in the Millbrook, Alabama, area to learn how to optimize your heating and cooling savings.