Adjusting your thermostat as the day goes on is a good way to maintain a comfortable living environment while saving money. One common heating tip is to turn allow your house to be cooler when you leave for work and then turn the temperature up again when you get home so you aren’t paying for heat you don’t enjoy.
While this is a good tip for saving money, who wants to come home to a cold house every day? In the depths of winter, it can regularly get below freezing and heating your house back up can take time, and tempt you into turning the thermostat on max to warm up your house as soon as possible. However, running your heat at max can cause overheating which is equally uncomfortable and will raise your electrical bill in turn. However, there is a solution: Programmable thermostats.
Programmable thermostats help you save money by setting the way you use your heat and air conditioning wisely. Programmable thermostats:
- Allow for the perfect temperature when you are home
- Adjust for the perfect sleeping temperature
- Adjust when you are at work or on vacation to save energy
- Reset to the perfect level when you are home again,
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Programmable thermostats work by using a variety of sensors to track information it can use to adjust the temperature dynamically. Sensors include motion sensors to detect if the building is currently occupied and light sensors to detect the time of day. This can be helpful, because you won’t have to remember to turn on or off the heat every time you leave the building or when the sun goes down and temperatures start to drop.
There are three types of programmable thermostats. To decide which one is best for you, think about your schedule and how often you are regularly away from home for extended periods of time. The government’s Energy Star program suggests the following:
- 7-day models are best if your schedule tends to change day to day. They offer the most flexibility, and let you set different programs for each day—usually with four possible temperature periods per day.
- 5+2-day models use the same schedule every weekday, and another schedule for weekends.
- 5-1-1 models are best if you tend to keep one schedule Monday through Friday and have different schedules on Saturday and Sunday.
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Once you have picked out the right thermostat for you, make sure you check all of its features. To help you get the most out of these features, make sure you place your new programmable thermostat in the right place. Put it somewhere that the ambient light will go down as the day passes but not in direct sunlight. It needs to be able to detect a change in light so it knows when the sun has gone down and if it needs to change its temperature control algorithm.
It should also be placed on an interior wall away from any air drafts. This is so it can accurately measure the ambient temperature of the air in the house. Cool or warm drafts of air can confuse the thermostat into thinking its warmer or cooler than it really is. Similarly, if the thermostat in placed on an exterior wall the heat of the sun or the chill of the air may radiate through your wall and affect the thermostats readings negatively.
Some programmable thermostats can even be programmed with your work schedule. That way it can start to heat up your home before you arrive so it’s nice and warm when you get home while still saving energy while you are away. More advanced models even include smartphone connectivity so you can adjust and monitor the temperature from anywhere.
Picking the right thermostat for your lifestyle is important because climate control is so central to our everyday lives, and picking one that does not fit your needs could be disastrous. Make sure it has just the right amount of features for you, and do not be tempted to pay for more features than you need. You want to be using this new gadget to save money not spend more of it than need be. For example, the popular NEST thermostat may lack the in-depth features some may like but its simple design ensures anyone can use it effectively. Regardless of which model you go with, a new programmable thermostat will surely save you money and keep your home more comfortable for everyone.