While modern HVAC technology is the most energy-efficient that it’s ever been, a Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) reveals that heating and cooling still accounts for 48% of energy consumption in U.S. homes. The good news is that this figure is down from 58% just a few years ago, which reflects the increase in more efficient equipment and better insulation in modern homes. But the fact remains that almost half of our yearly electrical consumption is used to condition our air. One easy way to lower this percentage, and to get more out of your HVAC system, is to invest in a programmable thermostat.
Modern digital thermostats allow for the homeowner to have more control over the temperature throughout the day. Several models can even “learn” the schedule of a household and program the various temperature preferences without any guidance. There are several plusses to investing in a digital model, especially of you own a traditional central air HAVC system. The benefits are many and include:
- Pre-Setting a Schedule – You can set a programmable thermostat to adjust to a different temperature setting throughout the day. This is especially convenient during the summer and winter when your HVAC is in use almost continually. In the summer you can set the temperature to a higher setting during the day when no one is home, and set it to cool down just before you return. In the winter you can set the temperature to a lower setting at night, scheduling a more comfortable temperature for the morning. The key here is that the closer the indoor temperature is to the outside, the lower your overall utility bill will be. A programmable thermostat ensures your home doesn’t waste energy on heating and cooling when you don’t need it.
- Remote Control – Many of the new programmable thermostats can be controlled through your computer or smart phone. This means that you are always in control of your HVAC system wherever you may be. This is especially useful if you are at work (or out of town) while there is an extreme change in the weather or temperature. An unexpected freeze while you are out of town might mean trouble for your pipes without appropriate warmth inside your home. Issues like these can easily be averted with remote access to your HAVC system.
- Eco-Friendly – Non-digital thermostats contain the highest amount of mercury in the home. Their digital counterparts contain no mercury, helping to reduce the six-to-eight tons of mercury a year that end up in landfills. Mercury buried in landfills has been known to migrate, infecting both the atmosphere and groundwater.
- No Maintenance/Repairs – A digital thermostat has no moving parts, so there is no longer a need for calibration. The digital technology also means that there is less need for repairs; problems can be explored online and defective models can be replaced.
- Room-to-Room Control – Many programmable thermostats allow you to adjust the temperature in separate rooms. (Some models allow for as many as 8 different room options.) Say there are certain rooms in your home that aren’t used on a daily basis – or maybe only used for storage. Instead of closing the air vents in a room (which is bad for the HVAC system), you can simply program the temperature in that room accordingly. Some people might prefer a warmer or colder room at night, this will ensure that your whole household gets a comfortable night’s sleep.
While a programmable thermostat is ideal for the typical central air system, it’s not recommended for heat pumps, electric resistance heating and some other alternative heating/cooling systems. Your local HVAC professional can help you make the best decision regarding a new thermostat. When you decide that you are ready to replace your old model, let the expert technicians at Interstate provide the guidance that you need. Call us at 405-794-8900 for an appointment today!
For information or assistance with HVAC efficiency, give Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning a call at 405-794-8900.
Don’t forget to schedule your air conditioning tune-up for summer! Schedule service online or give us a call!