Many people ask us about programmable thermostats. They want to know what are the right temperatures to keep the thermostat set at, and things like that.
What Brand We Recommend
There are lots of different programmable thermostats you can buy, but on all of our installs, we use a Honeywell programmable thermostat. We use these for a couple of reasons: number one, it’s very reliable. We rarely have failures with these. Another reason is that they’re easy to use. A lot of times people and programmable thermostats don’t always go together, especially as the home changes hands and new homeowners take over. The new homeowner might not have any idea how to use a programmable thermostat, so they just put it on “hold” and that’s it.
That’s a shame because they would definitely benefit by using the programmable feature. Using the programmable features can save you money! For example, when you leave the house for the day you can have the thermostat set to automatically raise the temperature. Most people know about this feature, but a lot of people ask us how high they should have the temperature rise, especially in summer. If you normally keep it at 75, how much higher should I have it do during the period of time that you’re gone? We’ve heard all kinds of answers to this. We’ve even heard some AC guys who say to just turn the air off while you’re gone! That’s not a good idea. We’ve heard that you should turn it up 10 degrees. That’s kind of crazy too.
How To Decide On a Temperature
There are two rules of thumb for deciding about your temperatures: In the summertime, when you’re out of the house you probably only want to bump the temperature up three or four degrees. That’s all! But in the winter you can do more, say a five or six degree difference.
The reason we recommend not going up many degrees in the summer is that humidity can really build up in the house, and that doesn’t really affect the temperature on the thermostat. So as the humidity builds because the air conditioner hasn’t been running, it’s not going to feel great. If you bump it up just 3 or 4 degrees it keeps the humidity under control, so when you go to turn it back on it feels good relatively quickly. This is much better than having to wait an hour, or and hour and a half when it’s 100 degrees outside, for your house to feel good again!
In the winter your house heats up pretty quickly, so if you bump your temperature by five or six degrees it will be feeling good again in no time.
If you use your programmable thermostat to automatically make these adjustments for you, you will save money! The Honeywell thermostat has four programmable events: wake up, leave for work, return from work, and sleep. Monday through Friday many people are on some sort of schedule like that. You may have it set a certain temperature when you wake up, and then have that go up 3 degrees in the summer or down five or six degrees in the winter when you leave for work. Then you can have that temperature adjust again automatically when you return.
Why Honeywell Thermostats Are So Reliable
Another thing we really like about Honeywell it that it has what they call Adaptive Intelligent Recovery which lets it come on sooner to get to the temp you want by the time you want. So if you want it to be 75 at 5:30 when you get home from work it will come on sooner to be at that 75 degrees by the time you walk through the door at 5:30. This is something no other thermostats do because Honeywell has the patent on this technology. Sometimes on the Honeywell thermostats you will see that it says it’s “In Recovery.” “In Recovery” means it’s come on early to get to the temperature at the right time. It knows, and it knows how early it will have to come on to get to the temp in time in May vs. July. That “In Recovery” time changes and fluctuates with the seasons.
Control Your Temperature Away From Home!
Now we have the ability to control thermostats from our phone, which is a really nice thing. Honeywell makes a really nice HD display thermostat that you can control from your phone, your computer or your iPad, which gives you even more options.
One final thing we like about Honeywell thermostats: there’s no extra cost! Once you buy it, that’s it. There’s no monthly fee like a lot of smart home technology has.
If you’re interested in a programmable thermostat or have questions, give us a call! We’d love to talk with you. Simply give us a call for an estimate.