Programmable Thermostats and Zone Control Systems

a dog is cold inside.

Wouldn’t it be great if the temperature in your Clinton Township home was never too cold or too warm? And if you could achieve this perfect level of comfort without wasting extra energy by heating or cooling rooms you are not immediately using? Today’s available technology is moving all of us closer to that reality.

Our professionals at Great Dane Heating & Air Conditioning want to share the latest developments in programmable thermostats and zone control systems that are now available.

In Days Past

The desire for the efficient, yet comfortable, ideal indoor temperature has been around as long as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems themselves. In the past, energy-conscious homeowners manually adjusted their thermostats before leaving or upon returning home. They diligently remembered to shut and open room vents as rooms were used or left vacant for longer periods of time.

Although somewhat effective, there was always the risk of forgetting to lower your thermostat or close a vent. In addition, closing too many vents could have a detrimental effect on a conventional HVAC system, which needs adequate air circulation to operate effectively.

Types of Thermostats

As time has gone on, technology has been developed to give Michigan homeowners better control of indoor temperature. Here is an evolution of the thermostat and which kinds are currently available:

Manual Thermostat. This basic thermostat is simply set at one temperature. Your home’s HVAC system will kick on and off to maintain this preselected reading. Although original thermostats used mercury, modern manual thermostats offer a digital readout.

Programmable Thermostat. The first programmable thermostats allow homeowners to select different common patterns to control indoor temperature. For example, you could set one program for a week when the thermostat boosts the temperature in the early morning and drops it during the night. 

Or, you could set your thermostat to turn back the temperature when you leave for work in the morning. You could then set it to turn back up before you return home during weekdays with an entirely different setting for the weekend.

Wireless Thermostat. These thermostats may not require hardwiring in order to communicate with your HVAC system. Some of these include remote indoor sensors.

Learning Thermostat. Using basic artificial intelligence (AI) technology, these thermostats will “learn” how you prefer to program your thermostat over time. After you set your preferences, the system will automatically suggest new programs for the future. They can also be connected to your devices, allowing you to control your home’s temperature remotely.

Communicating Thermostat. The highest-end thermostats available today will also provide an ability to work with your HVAC equipment. This can result in providing you with maintenance warnings, troubleshooting help, and suggestions for more efficient usage.

Zone Control Systems

The US Department of Energy (DOE) suggests homeowners consider installing zone control systems if they have large areas of their home that are infrequently used. Zone control systems also work well for homes where individuals are using different sections of the residence at separate times, as in the case of a home office.

Zone control systems work by setting up numerous thermostats for separate sections of your home. This works with your HVAC’s ductwork and dampers and plenums. These thermostats work with your HVAC equipment to deliver either heating or air conditioning to particular zones in your residence.

Let’s say you program your system to decrease the temperature in your master bedroom and increase the temperature in your kitchen early in the morning. An hour later, the thermostat in your children’s bedrooms direct a drop in temperature while the one in your home office is set to increase. 

As your HVAC receives these orders from the different zones in your home, the dampers in these areas will automatically open and close to cool or heat as requested. Once the particular zones reach the requested temperature, the HVAC system will shut down until the temperature changes or a new program begins.

Benefits of Programmable Thermostats and Zone Control Systems

Obviously, the biggest benefit of programmable thermostats and zone control systems is you only use energy in the spaces you’re currently occupying. This allows you to be comfortable without wasting extra energy. For you, that means a smaller carbon footprint as well as lower ongoing utility bills.

These advanced temperature-control technologies can also help you minimize or eliminate uncomfortable areas that may be too cold or warm because of their proximity to the thermostat. 

Although programmable thermostats and zone control systems require an upfront investment, you’ll be able to recoup some of your money through lower energy bills, fewer repair and maintenance bills, and a longer life span of your HVAC equipment.

Call Great Dane Today

If you want to know more about programmable thermostats and zone control systems, call Great Dane at 586.790.2604. Our team in Macomb County, MI, is well versed in current technology and ready to assist you. Request service online today.

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