HVAC companies like ours often get asked about programmable and smart thermostats. While both types of thermostats share some similarities, they are distinctly different systems. In this blog, Home Air Services shares an in-depth comparison of programmable and smart thermostats.
Programmable thermostats are a step up from traditional manual thermostats. Their main advantage is that you don’t have to reach for the thermostat to manually set the temperature, which can be annoying if your indoor heating and cooling requirements often change. Programmable thermostats typically have backlit LCD displays, similar to mobile phones in the early 2000s.
Programmable thermostats are perfectly suited for households that follow regular routines, such as a family that has daytime jobs and school-age kids. HVAC installation contractors will offer you three types of programmable thermostats depending on your weekly schedule:
7-Day — The most basic programmable thermostat repeats the same cycle every 24 hours all throughout the year. This is your best option if you don’t follow a strict schedule, or if the home is occupied every day of the week.
5-2 Programming — This type can be programmed for a weekday cycle plus a weekend cycle.
5-1-1 Programming — This can also be programmed for a weekday cycle, with the addition of one schedule for Saturday and another for Sunday.
Programmable thermostats can help you save on energy costs by automating temperature changes to the hours when most needed.
Smart thermostats can also be programmed to match your schedule, and have an easy-to-understand user interface. In addition to these features, smart thermostats can run usage reports and run times, be controlled remotely using your smartphone and even let you know if your air filter needs to be cleaned or replaced.
Many smart thermostats are designed to work with whole-home smart systems that also include home lighting and security. Using a smartphone app to control the HVAC system lets you do things like warm up the house before you get home when returning late from work. It also eliminates those “did I leave the AC on high?” moments after you’ve left for work. If you think these features in addition to those offered by programmable thermostats would be of benefit to you. then smart thermostats are a worthwhile upgrade to your HVAC system.