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8 Signs You Should Invest in a Programmable Thermostat

Posted October 9, 2017 | By Direct Energy Business

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Programmable thermostats are a great piece of technology - but are they really necessary? Sure, you've thought about how nice it would be to have your building warm and waiting for you on cold winter mornings or cool and comfortable during the summer, but will it really be beneficial to your business, or is it just a convenience?

Sign #1: Your Building Goes from Occupied to Empty

At many businesses, the building isn't in use around the clock - so why are you paying to keep yours at the optimal temperature? If you work a standard 9-5 schedule - or even have people in the building from 8-6 - then during the other 14-16 hours of the day, there's no reason for you to pay to keep your entire building at the perfect temperature. By using a programmable thermostat, you can allow your building to grow cooler (during the winter months) or warmer (during the summer months), then bring it back to the perfect temperature before you walk in the next morning. 

Sign #2: You're Interested in Increasing Your Energy Savings

Let's face it: your business's energy bill adds up fast! You're interested in energy savings wherever you can get them. During the hottest parts of summer or the coldest parts of winter, you can save as much as 2 percent on your energy bill for every degree that you're willing to adjust your thermostat. That doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice comfort, especially in an office environment where employees are only present for one-third of the day. By installing a programmable thermostat, you can let the temperature grow several degrees warmer in the summer or several degrees cooler in the winter after everyone has left the office so that you can enjoy energy savings throughout these difficult seasons. 

Sign #3: It's Hard to Keep the Temperature In Your Building Consistent

In many buildings, it's difficult to maintain a consistent temperature, especially as the weather changes outside. One day, it's the perfect temperature. A cold snap the next day, however, can leave your secretary shivering behind her desk the entire day while your HVAC unit struggles to keep up. With a programmable thermostat, on the other hand, you'll find that it's easier to keep your building at a consistent temperature, making both your employees and your customers more comfortable no matter how the weather changes outside. 

Sign #4: You're Wasting Energy Over the Weekend

Just like those hours after everyone leaves the office for the night, weekend hours are often a waste of energy--not to mention the company's financial resources. You don't want to come in on Monday morning to find frozen pipes in the middle of winter, but that doesn't mean that you have to keep your HVAC unit running hard, either! Instead, try using a programmable thermostat with the ability to set different programs for different days of the week. This will allow you to drop the temperature over the weekend during the winter or raise it during the summer, then bring it back to everyone's preferred level for Monday morning.  

Sign #5: You're Constantly Adjusting the Thermostat

It's not just a case of the Thermostat Wars - one employee wanting a cooler office environment, while another one is shivering while huddled in a sweater--that has your thermostat constantly moving. The trouble is, it's extremely difficult to find that ideal temperature throughout your building, and as a result, you and your employees waste valuable time in the middle of the work day trying to adjust the thermostat. With a programmable thermostat, on the other hand, you don't have to worry about making adjustments to reach that ideal temperature. The thermostat will naturally make those adjustments for you, ensuring that you can enjoy a more comfortable office (and potentially end the thermostat wars once and for all). 

Sign #6: You're Tired of Shivering When You Have to Run to the Office on the Weekend

Business owners occasionally have to run to the office during hours when it's not operational. If you're in the habit of manually adjusting the thermostat when you leave for the day or for the weekend, that might mean that you find yourself shivering through the entire visit. Many programmable thermostats will allow you to change the settings from your phone, tablet or laptop. That means that you can go ahead and warm up the office--or cool it down in the middle of summer--without having to sit there at your desk, desperately hoping that the HVAC unit will do its job before you're done with the task that brought you in. 

Sign #7: The Thermostat Wars Rage Throughout the Office

Many offices have different heating and cooling needs in different areas of the building. One office may get full sun in the middle of the day, while another is tucked into a corner that rarely gets full sunlight. As a result, your employees may struggle to find a way to agree on the optimal temperature for the building--and that means constant fights over how high the thermostat should be set. With programmable thermostats in the different climate zones of your building, each employee can choose the settings that work best for them - and that means that everyone will be happier and more comfortable while they're at work. Of course, if you have employees who share office space or work in cubicles, it may still be difficult to come to a consensus. 

Sign #8: You've Accidentally Left the Thermostat Set High Over a Holiday Week

You're headed out the door for a long holiday--perhaps Thanksgiving weekend or even Christmas. No one is going to be in the office for several days. That makes it the perfect time to turn down the thermostat and enjoy some energy savings! Unfortunately, you realized after you were already home that you'd forgotten to turn down the heat - and the last thing you want to do over a holiday weekend is run into the office, even to change the settings on the thermostat. Thanks to the apps and programs that allow you to control a programmable thermostat from your phone, you won't have to make an excuse to head back to the office. Instead, you can simply change the temperature from your device, in the comfort of your own home. 

If you're thinking about installing a programmable thermostat in your building, it's important to note that you can still manually adjust the thermostat just like you always have. If there's a reason you need to increase or decrease the temperature for some reason, it's as easy as ever to adjust your thermostat. The biggest difference is to the amount of time you'll have to spend worrying about it.

Now that you know all about the energy-saving potential of programmable thermostats, you have a big leg up on your energy knowledge. See if you can outscore 20 average people as they try to beat our energy IQ quiz!

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