5 Types of Programmable Thermostats

You know that installing a programmable thermostat can save you money on your utility bills.  But which type is right for your home? With so many different options, our clients frequently ask us for advice and information on which type of thermostat to choose. There are 5 basic types of thermostats: electromechanical, digital, hybrid, occupancy and light-sensing.

Electromechanical

These units are easy to operate with manual controls and are compatible with most heating and cooling systems. But they aren’t as flexible as other units because they don’t allow you to set a different program for each day. They are best for people who have a regular daily schedule.

Digital

Digital units hold multiple programs so you can set each day differently. They have a digital display with pads or buttons. They’re a little harder to program, so make sure you read instructions or consult your technician. Many companies have put helpful videos online to show how to program their thermostats.

Hybrid

This is a combination of the electromechanical and digital. This type of programmable thermostat usually has digital controls and holds multiple programs, but also has manual slide controls and knobs.


Occupancy

These are designed for spaces that are empty for long periods of time. These units are pre-set to a certain program but you can override that manually for a designated period of time. They would be especially useful in a vacation home, for example.

Light-sensing

Most homeowners won’t choose this type, but they’re worth a mention.  These are activated by light levels in the space. Commercial spaces sometimes use these thermostats because occupancy, lighting and heating requirements are all tied together.

Choosing the right unit requires some planning. Think about how your lifestyle affects your home’s heating and cooling needs. And don’t forget the most important part: actually taking the time to properly program your thermostat! 

177 thoughts on “5 Types of Programmable Thermostats

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