Do you remember to turn the heat down at bedtime or bump the thermostat up before you leave for work, so you're not cooling an empty house? A programmable thermostat remembers to control your HVAC system, so that you don't have to. It can also help you save on heating and cooling without sacrificing comfort.
There are a few different sorts of programmable thermostat, but they all work in basically the same way. You tell the system when to adjust the temperature, and it does all of the work. The type of programmable thermostat you need depends on your schedule. There are three options:
- 7-day – This is the most expensive type, but you can have different schedules set up for every day of the week.
- 5+2-day – You can set two schedules: one on Monday to Friday and one for the weekend.
- 5-1-1 – This one has three schedules: Monday to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday [source: Energy Star]
Installing a programmable thermostat can be pretty simple, depending on what your wiring is like now. A battery-powered progammable thermostat is simple to install if your current thermostat has two wires feeding into it. If you have three wires, you may need an electrician to do the installation [source: Marques]. Remember: Before messing with your thermostat, turn the power off at the breaker!