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Cleveland HVAC Blog

Types of Programmable Thermostats

Posted by Paul Wadsworth on Wed, Apr 28, 2010 @ 11:32 AM

By now, you know that programmable thermostats can save you money on your heating and cooling bill.  But do you know which type is right for your  home?  We recommend that you get professional help when making a decision.  With so many different options, it’s not unusual for our customers to ask for us for advice and information.  So, here’s an overview of the different kinds of programmable thermostats available.  There are 5 basic types:

1. Electromechanical
2. Digital
3. Hybrid
4. Occupancy
5. Light-sensing

1. Electromechanical- These are easy-to-operate units with manual controls, compatible with all heating and cooling systems except heat pumps.  They aren’t as flexible as other units, because they don’t allow you to set a different program for each day.  So, they’re best suited for people who have a regular daily schedule.

2. Digital- Unlike electromechanical units, these store multiple programs so you can set each day differently.  They have a digital display with pads or buttons.  They’re a little more complex to program, so make sure you read instructions or consult with a professional in order to get the best energy savings.

3. Hybrid- This is a combination of the two above.  This type of programmable thermostat usually has digital controls and stores multiple programs, but also has manual slides and knobs.

4. Occupancy- Designed for spaces that are unoccupied for long periods of time, these units are pre-set to a certain program but can be overridden manually for a designated period of time.  For example, you can manually change the pre-set temperature for a period of between 30 minutes to 12 hours if, for instance, you’re showing a home for sale, or are returning to a vacation home for a brief time.

5. Light-sensing- Most homeowners won’t use these units, but they’re worth a mention.  These units are activated by light levels in the space.  Offices and stores sometimes use these thermostats because occupancy, lighting and heating requirements are all tied together.

Choosing the right unit requires asking the right questions, and being aware of how your lifestyle affects your home’s heating and cooling needs.  Next time, we’ll conclude our discussion on programmable thermostats with how to choose the right unit for you.

P.K. Wadsworth services the Greater Cleveland, OH area including cities Chagrin Falls, Shaker Heights, Eastlake or anywhere in between.  To get started, check out our website.

Topics: Heating and Cooling, heating and cooling systems, heat pumps, energy savings, programmable thermostat

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