This is a great example of someone recognizing something we all hate and making it better. We all despise our thermostats. And for good reason. A simple task like changing the temperature shouldn’t be very confusing, but the thermostat designers have made it complicated.
My first apartment had this Energy Star programmable thermostat. I think you had to flip the far right switch to heat or cool, the next switch to auto, turn the knob to “run”, press up or down until the desired temperature displayed, then press “hold” which turns the air on and causes an “Override” message to be displayed. “Override” as far as I can tell means this setting will be overridden in about an hour and will have to set again.
When we bought a house that came with an electromechanical thermostat I thought it was the best thing in the world. Simple to program, it sure beat the digital thermostat. But if you don’t have a consistent schedule (say you take a day off, or have different climate control needs on the weekends) it can be a little annoying to reprogram for exceptions.
Now, there’s a company called Nest Labs, started by a former Apple employee who hated his confusing thermostat, that’s come out with a better thermostat. Really, all you need to do is turn it up and down and it learns from your patterns and starts adjusting the temperature itself (you can always manually override it). Turn the heat down before you go to bed and it learns to turn itself down automatically.
It connects to your Wifi network so you can adjust the temperature and view reports from your computer or iPhone/Android app… http://www.nest.com/