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Shopping for a Programmable Thermostat?

Updated: Apr 8

Programmable thermostats can be your ticket to lower energy bills and more comfortable home. They give you the power and the freedom to set what temperatures you want for certain hours of the day, allowing you to give your HVAC system a break when your home is empty, and programming it to start bringing it down to a cool temperature before you get home so you’re never put out by an aggressively hot or blisteringly cold house after work.

With a programmable thermostat, you can forget the days of worrying whether or not you left the AC on when you left for work–it’ll already be programmed to do so if you wish. They allow you to set the temperature of your home based on your daily schedule. This way, you can save a few bucks on your electricity, as well as maintain a little more peace of mind knowing that you don’t have to worry about manually controlling your home’s temperature.

Starting out

A simple and generally inexpensive upgrade such as a programmable thermostat can yield you some great results in the area of home improvement. It allows for ease of use and makes your home that much “smarter”!

However, choosing the perfect programmable thermostat for your home can seem a slightly confusing and daunting task. We’re here to simplify it.

When starting on your thermo-journey, it’s important to understand that there are several types of programmable thermostats, which include:

  • Cool only. These will only work with a single cooling source, and not simultaneously with your heating source.

  • Heat only. Similarly to cool only, this only works with a single heating source.

  • Single stage heat and cool. This is a combination of the above two. It can control one single cooling source and one single heating source.

  • Multi-stage heat and cool. Think of this as an upgrade of the single-stage heat and cool. You can control both heating and cooling, no matter if there are multiple sources (i.e, hot air pump, baseboard heaters, AND central air!)

  • Fan coil. These are specifically for fan coil units, such as unit ventilators.

  • Electric heat/line voltage. These thermostats are specifically for electric heaters and baseboard systems.

  • Millivolt. For gas-powered heating systems, these are your go-to choice, as they utilize a pilot light.

What else should I consider?

Your home’s own HVAC system is the biggest determiner when deciding which type of programmable thermostat is the most adequate for your needs. Likewise, when determining which type of thermostat you plan to go for, it’s important to keep a few other things in mind, such as:

  • How much flexibility do you want

  • User interface

  • Wiring

  • Mounting style


When shopping around for different styles, you may notice a wide gamut of the range of flexibility that these gadgets can offer. While some will offer a daily schedule where you can set temperatures by the hour, more advanced options can offer a 7-day scheduling system so you can set by the day and hour, taking it one step further in customization!

User Interface

The user interface can vary quite a bit with programmable thermostats. While some may be automatically intuitive, others may have a learning curve to them. Choosing a well-reviewed and easy-to-use thermostat can save you the headache of trying to learn a new little machine.


Types of wiring depend entirely on your current HVAC system. There are two types of wiring to consider when thinking about a programmable thermostat: line voltage and low voltage.

To keep it simple, you cannot mix and match wiring systems. When choosing a new programmable thermostat, you must match the wiring that your current system uses.

Mounting style

The mountaineering style is purely aesthetics, but it’s definitely something you want to consider when choosing a new thermostat. There are vertical, horizontal, square, and round mounting styles, all of which can take pretty nice shape and look attractive on your wall.

Call us

Have questions about programmable thermostats, installations, or anything else HVAC related? Please, don’t hesitate in giving us a call here at Tri-Point Refrigeration. We’re happy to hear from you and are excited to help you along the way.

For a direct line to any of our employees ready on the line to help you, please call…(512) 651-4565 for our Austin, Texas community (806) 686-0050 for our Lubbock, Texas community.

Or check out our website at


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