Thermostats are control devices through which users can manage the operation of heating and cooling systems. Simply put, a thermostat sets the target temperature to be maintained by the HVAC equipment it controls. Sensors placed within the control space detect the local temperature and if it differs by some degree from the target temperature setting, the thermostat will command the heating or cooling equipment to cycle ON until the local temperature meets the target.
A basic thermostat works with only one target temperature and it is maintained at all times until the setting is manually adjusted. This means users will have to interface with the thermostat every time they want to change the indoor temperature and this can inconvenient particularly when leaving for work, arriving home, and heading to bed.
To eliminate this inconvenience and provide a greater level of control and flexibility, programmable thermostats were developed and are now integral in home automation systems. With programmable thermostats, home owners can synchronize their daily routine with the HVAC systems and benefit in many ways such as:
– Waking up to a nicely heated or cooled home. Studies suggest that optimum sleeping temperature differs slightly from other activities and some people would prefer a slightly warmer temperature when they doze off.
– Arriving at a cozy and thermally comfortable house. There is nothing more relaxing and rejuvenating than arriving at your home set to just the right temperature.
– Reducing energy consumption when heating or cooling is unnecessary. Never again worry about accidentally leaving the thermostat to heat or cool when the house is empty.
Programming your daily schedule into the thermostat is the key to gaining these benefits and many more so here, we will show you how!
For this guide, we will consider a typical household environment and make use of Honeywell’s solid and proven Wi-Fi Touchscreen Programmable Thermostat, the RTH8500. The pointers given here will apply to almost all programmable thermostats and while the names used for the many options and settings may differ, their functions should be very similar.
A programmable thermostat typically bases its schedule on time periods set by the user.
The RTH8500 is capable of setting 4 different periods for every day.
WAKE – the moment occupants get out of bed and start the day
LEAVE – when the house is left empty for school or work
RETURN – when the house’s occupants return home
SLEEP – typical time when occupants head to bed to rest up
The time set for each period indicates when the heating or cooling target temperature for that period applies.
To start off, lay down your daily routine with these periods in mind.
As an example, say it is winter season and you wake up at 6 every weekday morning and would like the house to be warmed to a cozy 70°F as you start your day. You leave for work at 8 AM and the house temperature is allowed to drop to 63°F while you are away. The house should be at 70°F when you arrive from home at 5 in the evening and at 73°F as you sleep starting at 9 PM. Your schedule will then look as follows.
Note: The cool setting will depend on your needs for warmer seasons.
Each day of the week can be set to have its own different period starting times and target temperatures.
On the RTH8500, this is done in the SCHEDULE EDIT screen.
The RTH8500 also offers a learning function where it records how long it takes your home to reach the target temperature and factors this response time into the schedule. The thermostat will then activate the heating or cooling equipment slightly earlier than the set time period so that by the time it reaches the start of the period, the local temperature has already reached the set target.
Other programmable thermostats can be interfaced with similarly and have the same or even more functions. Additional features such as geofencing, integration with other home automation products, and advanced learning algorithms are available in more advanced models.
But really, a best programmable thermostat such as Honeywell’s RTH8500 should be more than enough for your household needs and keep you at peace of mind. By setting your daily routine into the thermostat’s schedule, your home is maintained thermally comfortable whilst saving energy when heating or cooling is unnecessary!Related posts: