What’s New in Programmable Thermostats?

Homeowners are always looking for ways to cut utility expenses. Programmable thermostats are one such way to realize savings, especially when the homeowner programs a schedule that automatically cuts back on energy use when the home is unoccupied or the occupants are inactive.

There are many programmable thermostats on the market these days, so if you’re ready to make the switch from analog or you want to upgrade a current programmable model, how do you know what to choose?

Following are some things you might want to look for as you shop around.

programmable thermostatsComfort and Efficiency

When considering comfort, you probably want a thermostat with a narrow temperature swing, where the system will be activated within a degree or less of the temperature set point. Bear in mind, however, that while this thermostat gives the most comfort, your system will run more frequently. A thermostat with a wider swing of up to three degrees before activation will probably use less energy.

Another comfort consideration has to do with multistage heating and cooling. If you have newer variable-stage HVAC equipment that works through stages of low, medium and high for greater efficiency and comfort, you want a programmable thermostat that supports that technology.

Energy Management

Many newer thermostats offer features that help with energy management, such as auto-scheduling. If this feature appeals to you, you’ll want a thermostat that can record your habits and local weather patterns. These features work best when a thermostat has the following:

  • Motion sensors for analyzing your movements
  • Usage report to help you understand how much you’re saving
  • Geofencing, a virtual barrier that uses GPS or radio frequency identification to define boundaries, and which works with the location of your smartphone. This system allows the thermostat to adjust the temperature as you approach home.

Other desirable features include:

  • Temperature control features, such as fans that run after the compressor cuts off to keep the cool air circulating
  • Sensors that detect equipment problems and maintenance needs

If you’d like more information on the latest in programmable thermostats, contact Reliance Home Services, serving Greater Los Angeles.