Improving your energy efficiency, whether it’s your heating or cooling, is a year-long battle, especially in Lakewood and Wheat Ridge. Older homes typically have older air conditioning and furnace units, and possibly outdated thermostats. Installing a programmable thermostat will kick start your energy savings. 

But it shouldn’t be…

Home comfort definitely begins with the right thermostat and setting. The setting can also help make your home more energy efficient.

This article will go through the different thermostats available on the market, how to select the right thermostat for your home, and how to use a programmable thermostat step-by-step.  

Thermostats: Manual, Programmable, and Smart – Your Control System

The control system, most commonly known as a thermostat, regulates the amount of heat distributed.

Let’s go over the different types…

Manual – A thermostat for the home can be a simple manual unit. Think of the old round model that sits on your wall. They are typically found in older homes. You manually move the needle up or down to how hot or cold you want your home to be. They are economical with simple controls but limited when it comes to energy savers. Best for those at home and prefer a fixed temperature.

Programmable – A very sophisticated programmable unit allows you to input a schedule with settings for every day of the week. Some models allow you to adjust separately for the weekend if you so desire. Programmable units can save on heating and cooling costs. It makes the most efficient use by adjusting the temperature through the day.

Smart – thermostats are wi-fi enabled to use from your technology such as your smartphone, tablet or computer. They are known to improve energy efficiency.

Keep in mind the model you choose must be compatible with your heating and cooling system.

How do you know if the thermostat you want is compatible?

The first step is to know what type of heating and cooling system you have. Thermostat Center wrote a great article for the non-techy on thermostats and their HVAC compatibility. They go on to say… “there are only 3 different thermostats to choose from:

  • Low voltage systems are the most common systems today and only require a 24v power supply. Most thermostats will work with this system.
  • Direct line or high voltage systems use an 110v to 240v power source. These are generally baseboards and other electric heating systems and they require special attention when looking for a thermostat (meaning not all thermostats will work with these). What you should also remember is that in some older homes, direct line voltage is also used to power the thermostat.
  • 24 millivolt systems are usually gas or oil powered furnaces that don’t use electricity, wall or floor type.”

They also go on to explain the different stages.

You need to identify if your home is fitted with 1 Stage or 2 Stage.

  1. Stage One – you have units that work at full capacity or not at all.
  2. Stage Two – your system is capable of heating and cooling at both low and high speeds.

Home Depot adds that your new thermostat will be clearly labeled with one of the following:

  • Works with 1 Stage heat or cool: For use where you have separate heating and air conditioning units
  • Works with 2 Stage or multi-stage heat or cool: For heating or cooling units that have a high and low speed
  • Works with Direct Line Voltage: 110 or 240 direct current power source used in some older homes to power the thermostat
  • Works with 24mV: For use with a fireplace, floor, or wall furnace
  • Zoned HVAC: Heating and/or cooling is individually controlled in different areas from the same HVAC system

Armed with this information, you can make the right choice when it comes to picking your next thermostat for home. Manufacturers will most likely include the description on their package.

Let’s say you are one to have a low voltage system and you are ready for a programmable thermostat.

The question will quickly arise…

How do I Use a Programmable Thermostat to See Real Savings? (after all, this is what this article is about), improving your energy efficiency.

But you’ve got to pick the one you’ll actually use and setup. Lakewood Plumbing and heating installs and sells only the best thermostats from Honeywell and American Standard.

How to Save on Utilities with a Programmable Thermostat

Installing a programmable thermostat in your home will let you run a scheduled heating and cooling program without having to remember to manually change your settings throughout the day.

Most programmable thermostats are able to automatically adjust the temperature in your home up to six or more times per day. You can also manually override the automatic settings if you need to at any time without interrupting the daily or weekly programming.

The right thermostat can help keep your home comfortable and control your energy usage.

The model you choose must be compatible with your heating and cooling system. Your choice of thermostat for a home will also depend on how you want to program your system and utilize its functions.  Always consult your local HVAC company to help you install and choose the correct thermostat for your home. 

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