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Comparing Smart and Programmable Thermostats

Written on: March 21, 2022

Learn how both can save on energy costs!

thermostat options new hampshireDo you think programmable thermostats and smart thermostats are the same thing? Nope! They’re both great, but they are different.

These thermostats are similar in that they make it simpler to keep your home comfortable while also saving you money on your heating and cooling expenses.

The differences, however, are in terms of technology, features, and price. Whichever one you pick, if you program it correctly, you may save up to 10% on your heating and cooling costs every year! Here’s what to do.

Heating season:

Cooling season:

Programmable thermostats changed heating and cooling forever

Before programmable thermostats came along in the 1980s, the only way to control your home’s heating and cooling was to walk over and manually change the temperature on the thermostat.

Programmable thermostats made it easy to manage your home’s heating and cooling. You could program it and forget about it.

You can set your thermostat to a higher temperature in the summer and a lower temperature in the winter while you’re away during the day and have it back to your desired temperature when you get home.

Programmable thermostats are popular among homeowners because there are no more concerns about forgetting to adjust the temperature before leaving the house or having the house too cold or too hot when they get home. Some programmable thermostat models allow you to create several settings, so you can have a setting while you’re away on vacation.

Smart thermostats: A new era for HVAC control

Programmable thermostats are still the most common type of thermostat in homes today, but smart thermostats are getting a lot of attention. They perform every function of a programmable thermostat and more!

Because a smart thermostat is linked to your home’s WiFi, you can use it from any location where you have a wireless or cellular signal. Are you going on vacation? You can set your thermostat on the app for your smart thermostat before leaving the hotel and program the heating or air conditioning so that when you get home, it’s already at a comfortable temperature.

Some smart thermostats keep track of your energy consumption. You get to use this data to better tune your thermostat and save even more money on energy bills.

Another feature of some smart thermostats is that they learn your household’s habits and heating and cooling requirements, then change the temperature settings to match. There are even smart thermostats that notify you when your HVAC equipment needs to be serviced or repaired.

Smart thermostats are available at your local hardware or home improvement store, as well as online. They’re reasonably priced but may be more expensive than programmable thermostats. However, you’ll reap the benefits of your energy savings right away!

Key things to know about using programmable or smart thermostats

Programmable and smart thermostats use power differently than manual thermostats. Many programmable thermostats use batteries. Set a reminder to check and change them as needed. If your programmable thermostat is not working, change the batteries to see if that’s the problem before requesting a service call.

Some smart thermostats charge themselves only when the HVAC system is running, so during times when the HVAC system isn’t being used as frequently, it may run out of power. It is recommended that, for most smart thermostats, that you add a Common Wire (also known as a C-wire), which is a third thermostat wire that carries a constant 24 volts to keep the power coming to the thermostat. If you don’t have a C-wire, remember to factor that into the cost of adding a smart thermostat to your home.

Whichever thermostat you choose, make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly so you know how to use it. We see many thermostat-related service calls that are caused by user error.

With smart thermostats, your home’s WiFi and internet service can cause problems for it. Check your WiFi and internet connection before requesting a service call, as that work is not something most service technicians have the experience to handle.

Keep a spare manual thermostat on hand if you are having problems with your programmable or smart thermostat so you can swap it out if needed.

With reliable fuel delivery and HVAC installation and service, you can count on Johnny Prescott to keep your home comfortable! Get in touch with us for all your heating and cooling needs.