This is one of the first questions I asked myself when I started to look into the subject of where to buy a cheap programmable thermostat. In the end I bought a Honeywell rth8500d 7-Day Programmable Thermostat, and I’m very happy with my choice. It was easy to install and program and after one year it has paid for itself in the reduced energy bills I have received.
A 5+2 programmable thermostat is the entry level thermostat that offers only two different program slots. They are weekdays and the weekend. For single people with a fixed work schedule who tend to not go out much at the weekend a 5+2 programmable thermostat is fine.
Slightly more expensive and sophisticated is a 5-1-1 programmable thermostat. This type of thermostat gives the user three program settings: weekdays, Saturday and Sunday. This type of thermostat is not bad for people who do a nine-to-five job and like going out at the weekend. They can set their thermostat more accurately to reflect their changing hours at the weekend.
However, anyone with a big family and a complicated schedule should seriously consider buying a good 7-day programmable thermostat such as a Honeywell rth8500d. A 7-Day programmable thermostat allows the homeowner to program in heating/cooling requirements for every day of the week. The Honeywell rth8500d also allows the user to set up 4 different periods of heating/cooling within a day. This gives the flexibility needed to make big savings in energy bills.
Furthermore, the Honeywell rth8500d also has a useful temporary hold button that allows you to override your programmed settings. If you are sick and spend a day at home or if you are staying up later than usual or if you just feel a bit cold you can simply press the temporary hold button and change the thermostat setting without interfering with your programmed settings. This is a great function that I have found particularly useful on my Honeywell rth8500d.
I hope this brief introduction has given you a better idea about which type of thermostat is best for you.