Our furnace is a simple machine in a lot of ways.
You can tell it to turn on.
You can tell it to turn off.
The fanciest thing you can do is take the panel off, turn the fan switch on and enjoy cool air coming from the vents with no heat. That helps in the summer.
Add a programmable thermostat, however, and this simple machine leaps into the 20th century. It turns on and off automatically. Ooooooo!
These things are not expensive if you don’t get the ones I’m sure they have now that you can control from Venezuela with your iPad. I like to think that it turns our 91 year-old house into one of those Smart Houses. It won’t cook you breakfast, but it ain’t stupid.
If you read my post called The Empty Tank Challenge you know that the little ‘heat-off-cool’ switch is set to ‘off’ right now and, in fact, the oil tank is only a quarter full. However, if we turned it on today, here is what our thermostat is programmed to do:
At night it doesn’t turn on until the temperature drops to 18.5C (65.3F)
Weekdays at 7am it warms the house to 20.5C (69F)
It assumes we are all out of the house by 9am so it lets it down to 18.5C again.
At 5pm it warms to 20.5C and then at 10pm it goes back to 18.5C for the night.
On Saturday and Sunday we keep the house warm all day, unless we go out and then we manually set it lower. We just push the down arrow a few times. After a few hours it automatically returns to the program.
I’m writing this just in case you don’t have a programmable thermostat. Most of you probably do, right? If you don’t, go get one, quick!