A programmable thermostat is a great green DIY project that one can embark on as an initial step in building a green home.
It allows you to control and program a heating/cooling schedule from a time duration that ranges from weekly to a long term schedule that suits your household.
This will also ensure that your household is suitably heated/cooled for your comfort especially during the time period when you and your family members are around for a more efficient usage of energy.
Installing a programmable thermostat in your household has also been mentioned as an energy-saving act2 under the Energy Star program. There are currently many good models available on the markets which make perfect green additions to your household.
A programmable thermostat should possess the below specifications 1
- Large digital, backlit displays for easy viewing
- Intuitive touchscreen for you to program your heating/cooling schedule
- Additional functions like the Hold/Vacation feature; it allows you to program your settings for resumption upon the return of your trip. This is good for consumers who travel frequently in their line of work
- Indicators which tell you when it’s time to change air filters/ any malfunctioning in the heating/cooling systems
- Adaptive Recovery/ Smart Recovery features that can calculate the amount of time for it to hit the next programmed temperature and reach it in time
The programming modes for the programmable thermostats can be divided into 3 main types1:
7-day models: for people whose daily schedule tends to change. They provide you with the most flexibility and allow different program settings for different days with up to four possible temperature periods daily.
5+2-day models use two different schedules for weekdays and weekends.
5-1-1 models are most suitable for people who usually keep to a constant schedule Monday through Friday and another one on Saturdays and Sundays.
As I was doing research on the programmable thermostats, I came across some models like the 7-day Honeywell RTH7600D and Lux TS9000TST that meet most of the specifications as stipulated by the Energy Star website for a programmable thermostat. Both of these models possess large and well-lit touch screens, a straightforward programming setup that is easy to setup.
For consumers who do not fancy a touch screen, there is also the Honeywell RTH7500D with exactly similar functions as RTH7600D but manual controls. For those often away, there is also the Honeywell RTH8500D that has a “Vacation Hold” function that will save your settings for the period that you are away and reactivate them when you are back.
1)http://www.energystar.gov/products/certified-products/detail/programmable_thermostats(accessed 2nd November 2014)
2)http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=heat_cool.pr_hvac (accessed 2nd November 2014)
(Last Updated 2nd November 2014)