As we finally head into warmer weather in Northern Virginia, we’ll be adjusting our thermostats to cool our homes and control humidity. A good thermostat can not only make your home comfortable but also lower energy bills. Let’s take a look at the differences between manual, programmable and smart thermostats.
If you still have your air conditioner or furnace from 12 years ago, you probably have a manual thermostat that just has an on/off switch for the heat or AC and the fan. You’re probably used to setting your desired temperature and leaving it be. If you are able to constantly change the thermostat as the outside temperature changes, that’s fine, but you aren’t getting any energy saving benefits if you forget to raise the temp when you’re leaving for the day.
The programmable thermostat is designed to automatically adjust the temperature in your home throughout the day. It can be programmed for a variety of different uses — for instance if you work 5 days a week, you can program the thermostat to increase several degrees while you’re at work, and to lower before you get home. And you can program it to raise or drop (depending on the season) each night when you go to bed.
Some programmable models can switch between heat and cool during these strange spring Virginia days when it’s cold at night and hot during the day. Switching from a manual thermostat to a programmable thermostat could save you between 15 and 30 percent on your energy bill annually.
The newest, most advanced thermostats are smart thermostats. Smart home thermostats learn your routines and can begin adjusting temperatures to fit your schedule and needs, which saves you from having to set a program. Smart thermostats allow you to control your home’s temperatures from just about anywhere using your phone or tablet, which can be very useful if you’re going to be late coming home from work and don’t need your home being cooled when no one is in it. On some smart home thermostats, you can even track your HVAC energy usage to figure out the best way to reduce your overall energy bills.
Which Type of Thermostat Is Best?
First things first: If you have a manual thermostat, it’s time to upgrade. You’ll be surprised at how much lower can become with a programmable or smart thermostat.
Now to decide between a programmable and smart thermostat. If they are compatible with your current HVAC system, both programmable and smart thermostats have their perks. But if you have a busy lifestyle with random evening and weekend schedules as many of us do, you will enjoy the convenience and energy savings of a Wifi smart thermostat. Smart thermostats do tend to be more expensive than programmable models up front. but if you take advantage of its abilities, you’ll end up getting that money back when saving on monthly electric bills.
Still have questions about your thermostat? Just ask Snell!
Our knowledgeable HVAC technicians will be happy to answer any questions you have about the best thermostat for your home. Want to enjoy even more energy savings? Ask us about a new ENERGY STAR air conditioner!