Choosing the Right Programmable Thermostat

Once you’re in the market for a programmable thermostat, you’ve already made the easiest decision: just deciding to upgrade in the first place. It’s a bit more challenging when it comes time to consider options for programmable thermostats. Here’s a short primer to guide you through the thicket of available models.
Common Options for Programmable Thermostats
1) Heat-only or cool-only –This is self-explanatory.
2) Single-stage heating and cooling –This programmable thermostat will control the temperature for both the cooling system (for example, a central split-system A/C) and heating system (such as a furnace or electric baseboard heating).
3) Multi-stage heating and cooling – This thermostat will control multiple heating or cooling sources. An example might be a heat pump with a backup heating system, which means two sources of heating.
4) Electric heat/line voltage –As the name suggests, this is for electric heaters or baseboard systems.
5) Heat pump – Heat pumps generally require a specialized thermostat designed to increase the temperature gradually when in heating mode to avoid unnecessarily kicking on the emergency heating component. This is to be avoided during moderate temperatures, since the backup heating is a good deal more expensive than normal heat pump operation.
Scheduling Options
When shopping for a programmable thermostat, you’ll want to decide what scheduling alternative works best for your family’s schedule. Here are the options:

1) 7-day model – This model allows a separate program for each day of the week.
2) 5-2 model –You’ll be able to have one program for the weekdays and a separate program that applies to Saturday and Sunday.
3) 5-1-1 model –Similar to the 5-2 model, this allows a separate program for one weekend day and another program for the other weekend day.
Enhanced Features
1) Wi-Fi connectivity– You can “talk” to your home’s programmable thermostat from any remote location with a wireless Internet connection.
2) Manual override – This feature will override programmed settings temporarily. Nobody has a schedule that’s so rigid that it doesn’t change occasionally.

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