Smart Thermostat Selection:
Automatic setback thermostats come in many varieties and models. They all regulate your heating and cooling system to provide comfort when you decide you need it.
Most setback thermostats allow you to program at least one “at home and away from home” schedule for the weekdays and a different one for the weekend. Other models may feature full seven-day programming, enabling you to customize the operation of your heating and cooling system for any day of the week.
Some brands will start your furnace or air conditioner at the time you specify, while others reach the temperature you want at the time you want, meaning that heating or cooling will begin sooner than the time you programmed into the unit.
Setback thermostats may also come with a variety of helpful “extras” such as:
- A light to remind you when to change the furnace filter.
- A keypad lock to prevent small children from accidentally (or mischievously) changing the thermostat programming.
- Automatic changeovers with the season, eliminating the need for you to flick a switch when your comfort needs change from the heating to the cooling.
- Lighted displays that glow at night, a convenience in dark hallways.
- “Armchair” programming that allows you to detach the thermostat from its base and enter your schedules from the comfort of a chair, instead of requiring you to stand in the hall, at the unit.
- A low battery warning indicator. (Batteries keep the internal clock ticking and preserve the programmed schedules during a power outage.)
Many thermostats have daily schedules already built in, requiring you to change only those days that don’t reflect your personal lifestyle. Most models also allow you to override the programming when your schedule changes. To save additional energy, you may want to manually turn the thermostat off when you are on vacation.
If programming the setback thermostat you have in your home is confusing to you, look for simplified instructions, often found inside the thermostat cover. Many manufacturers also offer toll-free customer assistance.
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