Get up to $2000 tax credit on select AC systems! Call now to learn more.

Get up to $2000 tax credit on select AC systems! Call now to learn more.

Get up to $2000 tax credit on select AC systems! Call now to learn more.

Buying a Programmable Thermostat? Don’t Make These 4 Mistakes

March 17, 2014

Decided to buy a programmable thermostat? Fantastic! They can save you up to $180 a year in lower energy costs.

Key word: CAN.

Many homeowners are disappointed in the savings they get from programmable thermostats.


Because they make these 4 common mistakes:

1) Buying the wrong scheduling type

Many programmable thermostat features are just nice add-ons. But it’s critical to choose the right scheduling type to get maximum energy savings.

Many homeowners buy the cheapest programmable thermostat they can get. Unfortunately, in doing so, they buy one that’s not flexible enough for their schedule.

Think about your schedule. Are you a typical 8-5 person with weekend times that rarely change? Or are you a nurse whose times at home vary widely from week to week?

Pick one of these 4 scheduling types that best fits your schedule:

7-day model (most customization)

Perfect for people with irregular schedules. You can set a different temperature schedule for each day of the week (Mon-Sun)

5-1-1 model

You can program 3 temperature schedules: 1) Monday through Friday, 2) Saturday, 3) Sunday This way you can program different temperature settings for Saturday and Sunday.

5+2 model

You can program 2 temperature schedules: 1) Monday through Friday and 2) Saturday and Sunday.

1-week model (least customization)

Gives you one temperature schedule for Monday through Sunday. It’s the cheapest one you’ll find, but you may not save the money you’re looking for.

2) Buying one that’s too complicated

OK, so you’ve got the right scheduling type. But if the darn thing is too complicated, good luck trying to set the schedules.

How can you tell if a programmable thermostat is too complicated before you buy it?

Be thorough and read multiple reviews. If several people are complaining about it’s ease of use, look elsewhere.

A few features that make programmable thermostats easier to use include:

  • Digital, backlit displays
  • Touch pad screen programming
  • Voice and/or phone programming
  • Hold/Vacation features

3) Using the wrong temperature settings

This is key: a programmable thermostat can only save you money if you’re using money-saving temperature settings.

So, you can’t have the thermostat set on 70 degrees F in the summer and expect lower energy bills just because the programmable thermostat is doing it for you.

Check out these thermostat setting best practices from the U.S Department of Energy.

4) Buying one that’s not compatible with your system

Imagine buying a remote control, only to find that it doesn’t work with your TV. Annoying, right?

Similarly, you don’t want to buy a programmable thermostat that can’t communicate with your heating and cooling system’s particular brand and model.

Need help finding a programmable thermostat that fits your needs and is compatible with your heating/cooling system? Ask one of our experts for help.

Cool Today provides award-winning air conditioning service to Sarasota, Florida and the surrounding areas like Bradenton, Tampa, and Port Charlotte. If you have any questions, talk to one of our experts for help.

Posted in: Buyer's Guide

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