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  1. Programmable Thermostats Will Save Money

    November 17, 2012 by admin | Category: Energy EfficiencyTags: , , , | Comments (0)

    Homeowners are constantly striving for ways to lower their energy costs and improve energy efficiency. Between rising gas prices and the overwhelming call to action by the green movement, it’s hard to ignore your energy bill. While many want to make an environmental difference, often these options are more expensive and difficult to implement. Programmable thermostats, on the other hand, are a quick, easy, and incredibly convenient way to hop on the green train.

    Costs for Programmable Thermostats vs. Energy Bill Savings

    Before we get into the convenience factors of programmable thermostats, let’s talk price tags. For a programmable thermostat, all you’ll need to buy is the actual thermostat, which will range from $50 to $200. This is chump change compared to replacing your furnace, installing new windows, or switching out your appliances for energy-efficient options. Although these are all good ways to lower your energy bill, there is usually a large price tag attached. Whereas with programmable thermostats, the cost is small and the savings are big. About 15 percent per year. You can do this simply by turning back your thermostat by 10 to 15 percent for eight hours a day. These gadgets make this easy.

    Convenience Factor: Heat and Cool What You Want, Where You Want

    Besides cutting down your energy bills, programmable thermostats add a significant convenience factor to the comfort of your home, and essentially save energy without you lifting a finger (or actually, by you only lifting a finger). Essentially, you are customizing how you heat or cool your home. So turn down your heat while you’re at work all day, and have it set to kick back on an hour before you return. That’s eight hours of lowered energy, and your home will still be nice and toasty upon your arrival. Also, most people prefer a cooler environment while they sleep. They curl up under a blanket, which leaves the necessity for cranking the heat a lot lower than the waking hours. With a programmable thermostat, lower your heat from an hour after you go to bed until an hour before you wake up. You’ll never know the difference when your feet hit that bathroom tile at sunrise. These hours really start to add up and shave off both wasted energy and unnecessarily high energy bills.

    The Quiet Killers

    There are probably rooms that you don’t use on a daily basis. A guest room, for example, often gets heated with the same ferocity as the rest of the house with no one to occupy it. Maybe you don’t use your finished basement every day. Programmable thermostats give you the option to turn off the heat in these unused areas of your home until it is necessary. This includes your entire home while you’re away on vacation. Press the “hold” button, or program your heat to kick back on a few hours before you return.

    In some cases, having several thermostats is useful if you have special needs. If you have a wine cellar, for example, and need to keep it at the perfect 55 degrees, then you could set up a thermostat set for that space. There are a lot of options out there to really customize your home’s heating and cooling plan.

    Words to the Wise

    While there are many benefits to programmable thermostats, there are a few things to keep in mind.

    Many models have a variety pre-programmed settings to choose from. If that is the case, it is better not to override these settings and make you own because you could end up using more energy.

    If you have a heat pump system, you may require a special kind of programmable thermostat to maximize your energy savings. It’s best to talk to your HVAC specialist to figure out what will work best for your home.

    Make sure that your air conditioning and furnace filter is clean. If your system isn’t working properly, check to make sure that the filter is clean because that could be causing your problem.

    These types of thermostats won’t lessen the load on an old furnace or heating and cooling system. It will merely limit the time that it is used. Your heating system will work the same as it always has, the timing will just be different.

    The bottom line is that there is a lot of value associated with installing a programmable thermostat. You can ensure maximum comfort by personalizing your heating system to your preferences, while saving money in the process. Not bad for a quick switch.



  2. How to Identify Each Wire for an HVAC for a Thermostat

    July 1, 2012 by admin | Category: Educational, Helpful, InformationTags: , , , | Comments (0)

    Thermostats communicate with HVAC units via low voltage control wiring. Each function of a thermostat needs an appropriate wire that will run from the thermostat to the HVAC unit. Depending on what kind of HVAC unit you have, the number of wires could range from two all the way up to eight. Two wire systems are heating only, and by adding additional functions, you add another wire for each.


  3. Turn off power to the HVAC unit. There will be a switch on the side of the unit that controls power to it. Turn it to the “off” position.
  4. Remove the access panel on the front of the furnace and set it aside.
  5. Look for the control board inside the furnace. It will have a terminal strip on it where the low voltage control wiring hooks up to. Terminals on the terminal strip will most likely be “R, Y, W, G and C.” If your furnace has a second stage cooling or heating, you may have “Y2 and W2.” The wires on the furnace control board will be connected up to the same labeled terminals on the thermostat.
  6. Look at and make note of which wires go to which terminals. The terminals that control the heating are “R and W.” The “R” terminal is the power terminal and usually has the red wire connected to it. The “W” terminal is the heating terminal and usually has the white wire connected to it. The terminals that control the cooling are “Y and C.” If you have air conditioning, you will notice that there are two wires connected to these that run to your outside condensing unit. There will also be a wire going from the “Y” terminal to the thermostat, and it is usually colored yellow. If your thermostat uses power from the furnace, the black wire will run from the “C” terminal to the thermostat. The “G” terminal controls the furnace blower fan which can be operated separately at the thermostat from the heating and cooling system. The wire that is usually connected to this is the green wire.
  7. Check to see if your system has the additional terminals “Y2 and W2.” These terminals exist if your furnace or air conditioner has a “second stage” of heating or cooling. What these do is allow the furnace or air conditioner to first come on with a low setting to see if it can meet the heating or cooling requirements. If after a certain time, the temperature requirement isn’t satisfied, the furnace will kick up to a higher setting to finish the heating or cooling needs. For the second stage heat, the “W2” terminal is used and this is usually connected with a brown wire from the furnace control board to the thermostat. For second stage cooling, the “Y2” terminal is used and is connected with the light blue wire from the furnace control board to the thermostat.
  8. Put the unit’s access panel back on after identifying all the thermostat wires.
  9. Turn the power back on to the HVAC unit.
  10. Learn more at eHow