Programmable vs. Non-Programmable Thermostats: When to Use What?

Programmable vs. Non-Programmable Thermostats: When to Use What?

One of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce energy consumption and save money throughout the year is to regulate the home and business temperature. Just install a thermostat, set the desired temperature, and you’re ready to roll. But with the introduction of non-programmable thermostats, things are not as simple as they used to be.

Most homeowners now struggle to choose between programmable and non-programmable thermostats. Knowing how they’re different from each other and when to use what can make the selection easier.

What is a Programmable Thermostat?

As the name suggests, programmable thermostats enable you to set the desired temperature schedule. Based on the schedule, the thermostat will automatically adjust the cooling or heating system.

For instance, you can program it for a different temperature when you’re home and something else when nobody’s home. If used correctly, programmable thermostats can help you save up to 30% on your heating and cooling bills.

What is a Non-Programmable Thermostat?

The non-programmable or manual thermostat is the conventional way to manage the heating and cooling system. They allow you to manually select the temperature at any given point in time. Based on the setting, the thermostat will adjust the heating or cooling temperature.

So, while both programmable and non-programmable thermostats allow you to adjust the temperature, the former works automatically on a selected schedule. With the non-programmable models, you’ll have to make the adjustments manually every time.

When Should You Use a Programmable Thermostat?

Programmable thermostats are ideal for places where temperature swings are pretty significant. For instance, you’d not want the cooling system to run at full capacity if the temperature falls to 50 degrees at night or early in the morning when you’re sleeping.

Similarly, if you’re aware that the temperature will shoot up to 80 degrees by 2 PM, you can set a schedule in your programmable thermostat to increase cooling around that time. By setting a schedule that automatically adjusts the temperature as per the season or time of the day, it’ll be easier for you to save energy, reduce heating and cooling costs, and maintain home comfort.

Note that, although it can save you time, money, and comfort, you can’t expect to make it a huge change in temperature during the heat or cold of the day. It shouldn’t ever be used to adjust more than 3 degrees in a 24 hour period.