Over the time, the cooling & heating system at your home has become a partner in your life. Attuning your day-to-day schedules with this home companion will make your life more comfortable and easier. Going with a programmable thermostat can make a much of that tuning. Am I guessing right?
What is a Programmable Thermostat?
A programmable thermostat is a kind of thermostat which can regulate the temperature of the target space according to some intended settings that become effective at different points of time in a day.
Programmed settings are inputted earlier in the thermostat before the time you expect a function to occur.
Programmable thermostats have also other names like setback thermostat or clock thermostat.
Related read: Best Thermostats with remote sensor capabilities.
Benefits of a Programmable Thermostat
Many times for keeping unconscious running of the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation & Air Cooling) system causes loss of energy. The loss out of heating and cooling from a building increase manifold as the difference in temperature becomes large.
A programmable thermostat can enable you to avoid these losses reducing the difference of temperatures at times. Specifically when the reduced amount of either cooling or heating is not material at all.
Let me make it clear to you with an example.
Say, during the summer, a programmable thermostat set in a home sets the temperature in the house to rise in workday periods – when no one will stay at home. Then it turns on the air conditioning system prior to the arrival of the residents.
This lets the house to be cooled as soon as they arrive back home.
In this way, you can save much air conditioning energy during the hot outdoor temperatures. Consequently, the demand for energy on the electric supply line will much decrease for reducing the cooling need at day.
Likewise, in summer, the programmable thermostat sets to low and high temperature as per the stay period of the occupants. And, it can save a lot of energy that results in a decrease in the demand for energy supply.
Based on the occupancy pattern of people, the same cases are possible in the commercial buildings as well.
Relating this, a comment on the https://www.houselogic.com/ is worth noting, it says, you can save at least 10% of your cost a year for heating and cooling.
Types of Programmable Thermostat
You can find following four types of the programmable thermostats are available in the market. In this very section, let’s have the basics of them.
The ordinary clock thermostat has a few basic options. Such a thermostat has one program comprising two periods. One is for the hotter period, and the other for the cooler period. Every day goes with the same program.
However, an advanced clock thermostat may have three/four or more options for setting hot and cold periods in a day.
You can easily set the hotter and the colder temperature in the ordinary ones, by moving two handles in a parallel scale of temperature.
This thermostat is simple and easy to program. But you have to keep aside your weekend comfort, as it has only one setting for weekdays and weekend.
To overcome this problem, some manufacturers provide a push button to allow you to change the setting for once.
With that changing option, you can switch the current period from hot to cold period and the reverse (vice-versa).
The clock runs in an electric mechanism. You can use any of the two methods to operate Honeywell Round Classic
- It needs it’s a dedicated source of 24V AC (alternating current).
- You have to use a rechargeable battery to operate the clock.
The digital thermostats give you a wide range of functions. You can set temperature for 2 or 4 or 6 periods each day of the week. Generally, the periods are defined as “Morning”, “Day”, “Evening”, “Night”, with no bindings on time intervals.
With the digital thermostat, you can change the setting of the current period temperature. However, it will automatically resume the set temperature when the next period begins. Also, an option is available to “postpone” the setting of the current temperature.
In this case, the thermostat will maintain the changed temperature setting until you cancel the postponed one or a set event happens.
A touch-screen programmable thermostat in programming mode
The thermostats of more advanced model enable you to release the postponed temperature setting to occur at the expected point of time in future.
Like clock thermostats, some digital thermostats may have only one setting option for each day of the week. Nonetheless, the advanced model thermostats have several flexible programming options. And you can find those options as follows.
Learn More about: Z-Wave Thermostat.
This option specifies the schedule for weekdays and weekend. In this setting, you will have same temperature schedules for both Saturday and Sunday.
However, you have to select the days; which are the weekday and which are the weekend. You may say, it is the most desired feature!
This option is a bit more flexible than the previous one. With this, you can set different schedules for Saturday and Sunday.
Each Day Programming:
It’s the most flexible option. Individuals or families with unpredictable schedules can easily tune this programming with them.
How about, if you still need an option for colder and hotter months?
You do not want to wait for long; probably it is already being incubated in one maker’s house.
Ha-ha, it is true, no kidding!
Digital Technology is working like the Aladin’s Lamp to meet your wishes!
Most digital thermostats may also have an individual program to work separately for cooling and heating. They may have features like turning the furnace blower on with either a manual switch or digital switch to start air circulation.
This happens even though the system isn’t running for heating or cooling.
Digital thermostats may also have an option for setting a reminder to change the air filter. The reminder sums up each run-time period of heating and cooling system, once the summed-up value matches the set time, it alarms to change the filter.
Nevertheless, some digital thermostats with top-notch technological capabilities are already available in the market. You can program them over a telephone with touch-tone or the internet, as for example Nest Learning Thermostat.
You can power the digital thermostats in one of the following three ways;
- A high-tech power circuit can operate it with 24V AC power line. A battery can back-up during the power failure.
- A rechargeable battery can easily operate the thermostat. The thermostat needs charging when it is not in calling and it will discharge when in calling.
- You can also power the thermostat with a non-rechargeable battery.
- You can use these thermostats both in millivolt circuits and 24V AC circuits. Thus, your battery will run for 1-2 years.
Digital Thermostat with PID Controller:
Thermostats with a built-in PID Controller are costly compared to others those don’t have it. Such a thermostat has the intelligence to know the nature of system’s response to its instructions. For example, if you program the evening temperature to 23º C at 8 pm, it makes sure to reach the temperature 23º C at 8 pm in the evening.
In that case, a standard programmable thermostat would only initiate its process to reach 23º C at 8 pm. Thus, you won’t get the temperature of your environment as expected at the set time.
But a PID controller senses at what point of time the system needs to start working for reaching the set temperature just at the desired time as programmed.
The controller gets this intelligence from the previous responses of the room and its current temperature. It helps the thermostat to stabilize the current temperature to increase the comfort level of the residents.
Commercial-purpose thermostats are expected to be the most sophisticated. They may not depend on clock mechanism. In that case, they may take shelter of other state-of-the-art techniques such as pneumatic controls.
It changes the air pressure in thermostat to enable one setting among “colder”/“hotter”. Here, a central regulator controls this air pressure.
By the support of electronic controls, a fixed signal decides to operate on one setting among “hotter”/“colder”.
Helpful Tips for Buying a Programmable Thermostat
When you have decided to buy a programmable thermostat, identify the types of equipment already in use for heating and cooling at your house. At the time of selecting from a shop, check the compatibility of the thermostat with those existing types of equipment.
For example, are you using the heat pump or central heating or cooling, or a furnace only, and the like?
Without matching with existing types of equipment, you won’t be able to harvest the reward of energy saving, rather you will fall in a risk with your system.
Changing the Factory Settings of Your Thermostat
Your newly bought thermostat may already have some pre-programmed settings. Read your thermostat’s instructions and the settings attentively, I mean the programs.
You need to change the programs to sync with the schedules you and your family would love to maintain. Programming options are involved with;
- Sleep time
- Wake time
- Leave time
- Return time
The US Department of Energy suggested settings are:
- For the hours you stay at home (sleep & awake), set the temperature to 68º F
- Lower at least 10º F for the hours you are asleep or out of the house
From much news surfaced over the internet, it is found that most of the Americans are not comfortable in using programmable thermostat because of their lack of confidence.
To say the truth, going with a programmable thermostat is not difficult.
You are already much tech-savvy with the blessing of the internet. Much of the knickknacks on programmable thermostats are available there.
So, pick the one that best fits your need, and attunes with it to enjoy your life break-free!