Programmable Thermostats (Opportunities and Limitations)

Programmable thermostats are known to help create a comfortable in-door environment while saving money. The trick is to come up with an efficient pre-set schedule during the day. Depending on your daily routines (and thermostat model), you may choose six or even more temperature settings per day. There are digital, electromechanical and mixed system available. We recommend the digital one for tech-savvy individuals who appreciate a variety of setting. The electromechanical thermostat offers fewer features, but it is easier to program. recommends setting the average winter temperature to 68°F while you are awake and lowering it while sleeping. You may even set your thermostat to around 55°F when you are on vacation to keep your pipes from freezing.


A common misconception associated with thermostats is that a furnace works harder than normal to warm the space back to a comfortable temperature after the thermostat has been set back, resulting in little or no savings. In fact, as soon as your house drops below its normal temperature, it will lose energy to the surrounding environment more slowly.


The lower the interior temperature, the slower the heat loss. So, the longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you save, because your house has lost less energy than it would have at the higher temperature.”


Example: Ecobee

Businesses like Ecobee offer a variety of programmable thermostats. They are ENERGY STAR® certified, save up to 23% on annual energy costs and provide unique features ranging from voice control to control through an app:


  • Control with the Ecobee app
  • Apple HomeKit + more integrations
  • SmartSensor included in the box
  • Alexa Built-in
  • Spotify & Bluetooth streaming
  • Hands-free calling & intercom
  • Supports HVAC accessories
  • Learns and adapts to your routine with Eco+


The efficiency and cost-savings depend on the system you are using, the size of your home, your daily routine and other factors. We recommend doing some research and comparing products before committing to a programmable thermostat.

Programmable Thermostat


Certain programmable thermostats may not be the ideal choice for heat pumps, steam heat and radiant floor heating. These systems work more cost-effectively when a moderate temperature setting is maintained around the clock. There are thermostats specializing in radiant floor heating and other systems. The Doug’s Heating & Air Conditioning Team is here to help you find the best solution, so please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions.


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