Before we get started with this article, we need a clear definition of what constitutes a programmable thermostat. This device enables you to adjust the temperature according to a series of programmed settings that take effect at different times of the day.

Programmable thermostats also sell under the name setback thermostats or clock thermostats. More advanced smart thermostats function as home automation device for monitoring and controlling home heating and air conditioning systems remotely.

With fuel and energy costs on a constant upward trend, programmable thermostat sales are also on the increase as householders seek effective ways of curtailing costs. As with any programmable or smart device, correct programming determines their effectiveness in the real world. In other words, they may not be ideal for every situation.

The Benefit Side

Heating and cooling losses from any structure are greater as temperature variations occur. A programmable thermostat can help control temperature fluctuations by the correct use of its programmable interface.

This means that in cooling season, you can pre-set a programmable thermostat to allow the interior temperature to rise during the day when there is no one at home. As folk return home, you can program your thermostat to switch on the air conditioning at a predetermined time to cool the ambient temperature.

Less cooling activity when not required results in a useful saving in energy costs and places less demand on the grid too. Switching to a cooler season means that your correctly programmed thermostat can control the heating functions as people come and go. Research indicates that a correctly set programmable thermostat can reduce energy bills by up to $180 a year.

Not a One-Size Fits All Solution

The cost savings potential of a programmable thermostat is somewhat negated if there is a constant flow of home traffic. This is because those remaining at home may not appreciate or tolerate the warmer or cooler temperature while under the control of a programmable thermostat. This is particularly pertinent in households where older children or shift workers are potentially ever-present.

Compatibility Issues

When considering installing a programmable thermostat, it is important to know that programming this device may not be compatible with all heating and cooling systems. We recommend that you consult with appropriate professionals in this field before purchasing and attempting to install a programmable thermostat on a DIY basis.

In Summary

As with any new gadget, always research the product thoroughly before buying. Checking online reviews also makes good sense before doing the math and understanding what you are really buying.

This particular gadget represents no threat for those among us that have the time and inclination to opt for manual control over their energy consumption on a day-to-day basis. Whatever you decide, any decision you make that conserves energy is a wise one. Ultimately, a green plan is the only option going forward.

Generally, a programmable thermostat offers an almost effortless way to save money on your energy costs. The satisfaction of knowing that you are contributing positively to environmental well-being sounds good too. Speak to your friendly HVAC supplier first!

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