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Programmable vs WiFi Thermostats: What's Best For You?

Homeowners are focused on making their homes as energy efficient as possible. One way to equip your home to use less energy while maintaining your indoor air comfort is by using a thermostat that can regulate your home’s temperature on its own. Either a programmable or a WiFi thermostat can provide the energy efficiency you’re looking for.

What Is a Programmable Thermostat?

Significant energy savings can be achieved by reducing the amount of work your heating or cooling system does while you're sleeping or away from home. However, it's not necessary to make the change to your thermostat every time you enter or leave the house. Instead, a programmable thermostat allows you to create a program where the system will automatically raise and lower the temperature based on your inputs.

Benefits of a programmable thermostat include:

  • The ability to program your preferred HVAC settings to run automatically. This allows you as a homeowner to schedule the home’s temperature to change without needing to remember to make the change to the system. Additionally, the system can be programmed to adjust back to the original temperature on its own.
  • Energy savings of between 5 percent and 15 percent
  • Programmable thermostats are easily used and accessed through a keypad located in the home.
  • The option to override the scheduled program and manually adjust the temperature.

What Is a WiFi Thermostat?

A WiFi thermostat, also referred to as an Internet thermostat, is a programmable thermostat with Internet capability. Using the Internet, you're able to change the heating and cooling settings remotely. You have the capability to turn the system on or off as well as the option to modify a program that was previously set up. As with a programmable thermostat, you have the ability to schedule your home’s level indoor air comfort based on the needs of your family.

Benefits of a WiFi thermostat include:

  • The ability to access the thermostat remotely as needed. This allows you to make changes in the programming even when you're not at home.
  • Password protection so that only authorized individuals are able to make changes to the HVAC system.
  • A real-time view of how the HVAC system is performing. The ability to monitor the system and the temperature in your home may make it easier to identify problems and to react before a small issue becomes a big one.
  • Built-in security systems to prevent others from hacking your system and making changes to your HVAC set up
  • Having remote control access so you don't need to go to the panel to make changes while you're in the home.

How Can a Programmable or WiFi Thermostat Increase Energy Savings?

The easiest way to receive energy savings for your HVAC costs is to manage the way you heat and cool your home. During winter months, decrease your home’s temperature to 68 degrees or less during periods of time when you're sleeping or not home. You can schedule the temperature to rise just before you wake up or return home, so you're virtually unaware of the change in temperature. The reverse should be done during the summer months, allowing the home’s temperature to rise when you're away from home or sleeping.

Which option is ideal for me, a programmable or WiFi thermostat?

If you travel often or would like the option to modify your home’s temperature remotely, a WiFi thermostat is ideal for you. If your schedule is fairly regular, and making adjustments to the system on the fly isn't as important, a programmable thermostat fits your criteria.

There are some instances where a programmable or WiFi thermostat isn't ideal, including:

  • HVAC systems run by heat pumps
  • HVAC systems that use electric baseboard heating due to the requirement of 120-volt or 240-volt circuits
  • Radiant floor heat

To learn more about programmable or WiFi thermostat options, contact a Mitsubishi Electric contractor in your area today. 

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