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Programmable Thermostats

Buying Guide

Programmable Thermostats

Programmable thermostats enable you to create a temperature routine in your home. Instead of a daily manual heating adjustment when you leave for work for example, and a readjustment when you return home, a programmable thermostat lets you program those adjustments. A winter, weekday program might look like this: a slightly cooler sleeping temperature, a warmer period in the morning until leaving the house, a lower temperature throughout the day while the house is empty, followed by a warmer temp in the late afternoon through bedtime, and a return to your sleeping temperature after bedtime. Users can program several programs, meaning that it accomodates changes in your routine. A seven-day program treats each 24 hours as unique or non-repeating, meaning everyday has different set points and time ranges. A “5-2” repeats two routines: one for five days and the other for two. A 5-1-1 uses three routines: one for five days, one for one day, and a third one on the seventh day of the week. Programmable thermostats have an easy-to-use digital interface that allow you to change temperature routines as often as you want or temporarily override a temperature range with the press of a button. Advanced models can switch back and forth between heating and cooling in transitional seasons. By creating a temperature schedule, you could save up to 33 percent on heating and 15-25% on cooling costs, according to the Home Depot. Electric resistance heat requires a special type of programmable thermostat to accomodate voltage and a professional installer (see product list below). For installation advice, see the Energy Star website.

Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats learn your heating and cooling habits and then create the program for you. You can adjust temperature via smart phone or any smart device. They connect with Smart home systems like Nest and Alexa. They analyze your energy use, take humidity and dew point into account, and use room sensors to detect hot and cold spots in your home. They also link to home accessories like dehumidifiers, humidifiers and ventilators. Nest claimed that an independent study of its generation 3 Nest yielded an average of 10 -12 percent savings on heating and a 15 percent savings on cooling.

For installation advice, see the Energy Star website.

Product Guide

Programmable Thermostats for Electric Heat:

Smart Thermostat Brands: Alarm.com, Braeburn, Bryant Housewise, Carrier Cor, ecobee, EcoFactor, Honeywell, Lux, Nest, Prostat.

Link to Energy Star-certified Smart thermostats:

Home Depot:

Lowe’s: (Energy-Star certified devices show the blue logo on the search page.)

Energy New England

  • 5 Hampshire St., Suite 100
    Mansfield, MA 02048
  • 508-698-1200
  • 508-698-0222

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