Saturday, 11 June 2011

Environmental Benefits of Programmable Thermostats

The environmental benefits of digital programmable thermostats are undisputed. Having greater control of the indoor climate control of a home and office greatly improves energy efficiency.

This means that programmable thermostats also save money. According to Energy Star figures the typical home in America can save $150 a year by installing a programmable thermostat. The reduction in electricity consumption also means a reduction in carbon emissions because most electricity in the world is still generated by burning fossil fuels.

Programmable thermostats are not simply for lazy people. Rather they allow you to fit your schedule in with the heating and cooling so that money and power is not wasted heating or cooling an empty house. Good programmable thermostats will offer 4 periods to set up a day. Thus the thermostat turns the heating/cooling up for when the house occupants wake up in the morning. When the occupants go to work or school the thermostat sets back the settings; and then it makes the home comfortable for the evening when people return home. Finally, the thermostat reduces heating/cooling for the night when people are in bed.

It is important to remember not only to match your schedule with the thermostat settings but also to use realistic set points. These are the recommended programmable thermostat settings:

Recommended Thermostat Settings


Morning – 78 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius)
At work – 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius)
Evening – same as morning
Night – 82 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius)


Morning – 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius)
At work – 62 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius)
Evening – same as morning
Night – 62 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius)

If you insist on wearing sweaters in the summer and shorts in the winter inside then frankly you won’t save money and you are contributing to a blighted planet for future generations (including your own).

Types of Programmable Thermostat

There are 4 main types of programmable thermostat. They are as follows:

1) 1 week thermostat – offering just 1 program slot.
2) 5+2 thermostat – offering 1 program for week days and 1 for the weekend
3) 5-1-1 thermostat – offering 3 programs – one for weekdays, one for Saturday and one for Sunday
4) 7 Day thermostat – offering a program slot for each day of the week.

Naturally, 7 day thermostats are the most expensive and 1 week thermostats are the cheapest. Your choice will depend on your budget and your schedule. Most people with a regular ‘9 to 5’ job can manage with a 5-1-1 or 5+2 thermostat.

Energy Star and Buying Tips

It is important to do your homework before buying a programmable thermostat. There are lots of programmable thermostats on the market. The best have the Energy Star certificate. This is a guarantee that the device will save you energy and thus money. There are also a variety of different functions on programmable thermostats some of which you will find useful and others less useful. It is a good idea to read reviews of programmable thermostats to find what functions are offered and how accurate and reliable the thermostats you are considering are.


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