Thermostats 101

Programmable Thermostats


Perhaps surprisingly, our energy rates here in Colorado are a little less than the national average. Of course in Denver and the surrounding counties, heating and cooling rates are steadily creeping up. No one can remember the last Xcel rate-drop and even the most efficient home- heating and cooling systems need a strong “captain at the wheel,” in the form of a programmable thermostat!


At its simplest, a thermostat takes the temperature of its surroundings – your home – and based on your preferences, decides whether it needs to take action to fire up the heating system or switch on the air conditioning. It’s a very basic job that for years was relegated to basic one-function dial-type devices; a Lakewood homeowner would set the temperature at a comfortable level, and the thermostat would do its best to keep it there.


But along the way we found out it’s just not as energy efficient to try to maintain one temperature all day long, and it’s just not as comfortable. All programmable thermostats are not created equal; there are a few features we’ve grown to appreciate in programmable thermostats we’ve installed for our local heating and cooling customers.

The best programmable thermostats include a control feature called adaptive (or “smart”) recovery, which changes the way the thermostat operates over time to adapt to your Denver home. The thermostat senses the amount of time it takes for its surroundings to reach the temperatures programmed in, and next time adapts to start the heating/cooling process sooner, to reach the desired temperature by the time set. This is a great feature that gets the house cool right at the time you get home, or warm right at the time you get out of bed.

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