If you are wondering what a thermostat is, it is that device mounted on the wall indoors that senses the ambient temperature and adjusts it as per your need. The key to maintaining the desired temperature in your home lies in a good thermostat. If your thermostat is functioning properly, half your heating and cooling headaches are already over. If your thermostat is outdated (manual thermostat) or malfunctioning, you may want to invest in a new one. Very few homeowners are actually aware of the fact that today when it comes to thermostats, you have many options available. We will not discuss all of them, rather, just the two that are crowd favorite at the moment – smart and programmable thermostats.
What Are Programmable Thermostats?
As the name itself suggests, a programmable thermostat is the one that can be programmed to heat or cool your home as you deem fit. It allows automatic adjustment of the heating and cooling system so that you need not constantly tweak your thermostat every day when you go to the office or come back home. They can be programmed as per your convenience. For example, you can program your thermostat to shut down the HVAC system half an hour after you leave for office and restart it an hour before you are due back home. If you have a 5 day work week, you can program the thermostat to do the above activity Monday to Friday and work incessantly through Saturday and Sunday.
What Are Smart Thermostats?
Smart thermostats are a major stride in IoT or the “Internet Of Things”, connecting devices through wifi. These are programmable thermostats that can easily connect to your wifi system and give you the option to control them remotely with a smart device like your smartphone. Their added benefit is that you can track your energy usage and better program your smart thermostat to result in bigger savings. You need not be home to make these changes. In fact, you can do so while away on a holiday to some distant nation. As long as you have internet connectivity, you can make the necessary changes anytime, anywhere.
Pros And Cons Of Programmable Thermostats
1. Pros – The programable thermostats are better than manual ones as they don’t require constant monitoring. They can be programmed to preferred temperature settings for set times. Once that is done, you need not monitor it constantly other than to check the battery level. The thermostat will automatically adjust the temperature as per the preset levels.
2. Cons – It fails to provide any extra information like your energy consumption so that you may take the necessary steps to further lower it. Neither does it allow you to schedule any events like a vacation. So if you forget to change the settings while away, you will not get another chance to do so until you are back.
Pros And Cons Of Smart Thermostat
1. Pros – A smart thermostat has all the benefits of a programmable thermostat and some more. You can pre-program it, schedule events, monitor your energy consumption, etc. It also minimizes the running time by using the weather and system performance data and making adjustments to the preset for the best performance. The icing on the cake is the fact that it has wifi connectivity so you can make changes to the preset from anywhere and at any time of your choosing. You can also monitor your energy consumption online, again, anytime, and anywhere.
2. Cons – Technologically challenged people may find it a little hard to get accustomed to so many smart features. Other than that, the only two drawbacks of smart thermostats are they are a bit more expensive than the programmable thermostats, and they quickly use up batteries due to constant wifi connectivity. It would be best if you were diligent in monitoring the battery level to make sure that your thermostat functions without giving any errors.
Who Are Programmable Thermostats Meant For?
Programmable thermostats are meant for the regular working-class people who have fixed schedules. They go to the office at a fixed time and come back at a fixed time. Having a fixed routine makes it easy to program the thermostat as per their schedule.
Who Are Smart Thermostats Meant For?
Smart thermostats are for the jet setting class. People who travel often and at short notice need these. In addition, those people who work in shifts, do not have a fixed time to go to the office or come back will also benefit from using smart thermostats. With good wifi connectivity, they can program their thermostat from anywhere without any worries.
The Best Thermostat For You
If you have a manual thermostat, the first order of business is to upgrade. If you don’t travel too much and have a fixed daily schedule, you can upgrade to a programmable thermostat. However, if you do not stick to a fixed routine, you will benefit more by using a smart thermostat.
Additionally, you also need to see which thermostat is compatible with your HVAC. It is not necessary that your HVAC will accept a smart thermostat, though the chances of it accepting a programmable thermostat are pretty high. Most modern, HVAC systems readily accept smart thermostats, so you will have to first check. You can take the help of your local HVAC company to help you figure this out.
Both smart and programmable thermostats are a definite upgrade over the manual ones. And the time has come for you to switch to either if you are still using the traditional analog thermostat. These thermostats are digital and hence, far easy to understand. Programming them is also not a big deal. Depending on your lifestyle and the configuration of your HVAC system, you can choose either. They are any day better than manual thermostats and save you a significant amount in energy bills.
If you still have any concerns or need any further clarification, the elite team of Aztil AC will be glad to be of help.