How Does A Programmable Thermostat Work?

Every kind of HVAC equipment depends on thermostats to measure the ambient temperature in indoor spaces. These devices are also tasked with maintaining the desired temperature within the enclosed space by regulating HVAC system operation. The majority of HVAC experts advocate for the installation of a programmable thermostat citing convenience as the main benefit. You might be wondering, “What is a programmable thermostat?” and “How does a programmable thermostat work?”. Read on to learn some useful information on the subject.

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What is a Programmable Thermostat?

programmable thermostat in a residential home

A thermostat is composed of sensors that measure room temperature and other environmental markers. This part of the heating and cooling system makes use of the readings to adjust the furnace or the air conditioner‘s operation. The primary goal is to reach the desired temperature, after which it will try to maintain this level. If it gets too cold, then it may turn the AC off for a while. If it gets too hot, then it will switch it on again. Continuous monitoring is essential to perform the necessary action in a timely manner.

Manual Vs. Programmable Thermostats

image of a manual thermostat

Older thermostats require manual adjustment. If users would like to change the temperature, then they would need to reach the thermostat dial each time. On the other hand, newer programmable thermostats can perform automatic adjustments based on settings that were previously entered by the user. For example, you may program an air conditioner to maintain a certain temperature during the day and another temperature during the night.

Modern thermostats are usually digital, although some homes and establishments built many years ago may still have analog ones. Open digital thermostats and you will see a thermistor, which is a built-in temperature sensor. It features metal strips that change depending on the temperature around it. This leads to fluctuations in electrical resistance.

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Thermostat Microcontroller

Aside from the thermistor, thermostats also contain a microcontroller which is like a small computer that manages everything. It is responsible for measuring the electrical resistance fluctuations and converting these into useful temperature readings. Digital thermostats with programmable settings let users issue several commands to be followed throughout the day. You can tell the thermostat to turn the temperature up or down at predefined periods based on your needs. For example, you might want the furnace to keep your home warm early during winter mornings and allow the temperature to drop after you leave for work. You can also set it to start heating the house again 15-30 minutes before you usually get back home.

A programmable thermostat can regulate the indoor temperature 24/7 in response to the fluctuations in environmental conditions detected by the sensors across time.

If you want to divide your home into different zones, then programmable thermostats should prove to be useful tools. Zoning refers to the treatment of various areas of the house as independent regions with their own temperature settings. This is great for large homes with several occupants who have distinct environmental preferences. Occupants of each room can enjoy their own preferred settings. This arrangement also prevents uneven cooling or heating based on location, since each zone has its own temperature regulator.


Benefits of A Programmable Thermostat

benefits of a programmable thermostatBelow, we outline some of the benefits that come with a programmable thermostat.

1. Automatic Temperature Adjustment

Programmable thermostats can adjust the temperature by themselves, so user input is not necessary. You do not need to keep fiddling with the remote control throughout the day. Just enter your preferences once and let it do everything for you in the background. This is much more convenient than the old arrangement.

2. Improved Comfort

With the programmable thermostats shifting the temperature according to your wishes throughout the day, you can be certain that you will stay comfortable no matter what. This level of comfort will allow you to focus on your work and let you sleep better at night.

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3. Improved Temperature Control in Zones

It can be difficult to monitor the temperature of multiple zones if you have a big house. If the usage patterns in each area tend to repeat day after day, then it might be better to use programmable thermostats that will ensure correct settings are enforced. You don’t have to go around to check manually. You can also set the HVAC system to turn off if rooms have no occupants.

4. Less Stress on Older HVAC Systems

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Heating and cooling systems accumulate wear and tear over time. All machines do. If you have an older HVAC system, then you should not place too much stress on it as this might lead to premature failures. Installing programmable thermostats can ease the burden on the equipment and prolong its lifespan.

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5. Cost-Saving

HVAC systems are known to consume large amounts of energy. If you want to reduce consumption to save on utility bills, then use a programmable thermostat. It will be more efficient in monitoring temperature and adjusting as necessary. It can regulate HVAC operation without fail 24 hours a day, unlike people who can be distracted, forgetful, or unavailable. The thermostat can shut the HVAC system down when no one is around. This means that your system will operate more efficiently, reducing home energy costs.


What If I Am Not Happy with the Automatic Temperature Setting?

Users typically come up with their programmed settings based on regular schedules and prevailing weather patterns. These should be sufficient most of the time, but they might not be ideal if your schedule or the weather changes. You might also be uncomfortable if someone else created the settings. Engineers include manual override features with every programmable thermostat. This lets people instantly change the temperature and other settings as they see fit. Some might even allow users to take control even if they are not present at home. For as long as the thermostat can connect to your Wi-Fi network, you should be able to tinker with the settings through your mobile phone.

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Do You Need a Programmable Thermostat?

Electronic devices can perform tasks more consistently than any human. That’s why a programmable thermostat is a great choice for those who are following a regular schedule and expect consistency from their HVAC system. This device will also serve those who are aiming to regulate the temperature in their house without manual intervention. Let the thermostat do everything for you after providing it with your instructions. You can modify the settings right away if you think they need tweaking. You can also keep these for a long time while they serve you well.



Programmable thermostats are compelling upgrades to your HVAC system. By installing one, you can enjoy greater convenience, bigger cost savings, higher comfort levels, and improved control. It is a good choice for large buildings where different areas require distinct temperature settings throughout the day. It is a wonderful addition to homes where the occupants would like to have independent temperature control. If you are interested in this type of product, then discuss the matter with a local HVAC expert for guidance.

Tevis Energy’s sister company, Modern Comfort, performs HVAC installations, replacements, tune-ups, and more. Our technicians can provide you with expert HVAC services to ensure that your system provides you with the comfort and efficiency you deserve. Call now to schedule an appointment.

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With Tevis Energy, customers can expect only the best heating and cooling services in Central Maryland & Southern Pennsylvania. Everything is delivered through certified technicians with years of experience in the industry. You can depend on us whether it’s for HVAC repairs, replacements, tune-ups, or programmable thermostat installations.

We can guarantee competitive pricing, so you don’t have to worry about the cost. We will help you increase system efficiency, reliability, and performance. Our solutions can be tailored to your needs and your budget. We’ll even give you a satisfaction guarantee. Call Tevis Energy today for a service appointment. We can visit for a free estimate.

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