Today’s standard of living is high. And there’s no questioning that the latest tech in HVAC thermostats has helped make everyday life more comfortable.
The thermostat options available today keep homeowners hard-pressed to find what unit best matches their needs. Don’t worry – we got you covered.
The first step when selecting a new thermostat is to understand all of the options and how they work to make your daily life better.
Why is Thermostat Selection Important?
Thermostats are your means of controlling temperature settings of the heating and air-conditioning systems in your home. As the tool you will use to keep indoor temperatures comfortable, a thermostat is also a way to control energy bills and fuel consumption. Therefore, proper selection is a critical decision for homeowners to make.
What Thermostat Best Suits me?
There is no single thermostat that is superior to the others. Proper thermostat selection is relative to the homeowner’s needs, personal demands, and budget. To keep things simple, you can group thermostats into four basic types: Non-programmable, programmable, Wi-Fi, and Smart.
In each group type, you will find that there are still many options. It is important to remember that if you are thinking of switching from one thermostat to another, you will need to make sure the choice you are considering is available in a configuration that is compatible with your existing HVAC system.
Following are the four types of thermostats available:
1. Non-Programmable Thermostat
Non-programmable thermostats are the most common and affordable option. The most notable characteristic of non-programmable thermostats is their requirement of manual input and what most homeowners will prefer or be able to justify spending money on.
Non-programmable thermostats will control room temperature mechanically with a bi-metallic strip or electronically with a small sensor.
2. Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are a step up from non-programmable thermostats in terms of convenience and price point. This type of thermostat dramatically reduces the need for manual input but does not entirely remove it.
Programmable thermostats provide homeowners with the ability to set the thermostat to adjust temperatures throughout the day automatically.
For example, they can be set to run warmer temps in the morning and cooler temps in the evening. Some models will even allow for different inputs for different days of the week.
Like non-programmable thermostats, these units are offered in both electronic and mechanical configurations.
3. Wi-Fi Thermostat
Another type of programmable thermostat on the market for residential buildings is known as a Wi-Fi thermostat. These are electronic units that give users the ability to adjust temperature settings from their smartphone or computer.
These are programmable thermostats, which means the user can set the system for automatic adjustments based on a schedule but can also be manually overridden remotely. Their level of versatility offers an almost unmatched level of convenience and control.
4. Smart Thermostat
Smart home technologies are the future, and it’s no surprise that climate control of your home is a part of this movement. Smart thermostats are automated systems that will learn your patterns and corresponding inputs of temperature settings over time.
Smart thermostats will learn the times that you are regularly at home and away and adjust automatically. These systems can be integrated into other home automation tools.
They can even use GPS linked to your smartphone to change temperature settings as you get close to home automatically. These systems can also function to find the most energy-efficient patterns to reduce monthly energy bills.
During thermostat selection, you will have to know the difference between low voltage and line voltage thermostats and which is designed to work with your HVAC system.
Small voltage thermostats work on 24 volts. These are intended for central heating systems and air conditioners. These thermostats are also small and simple to hook up.
Line voltage thermostats work off 120 volts and work with resistance heating systems. As they will need to work off of 120 volts, they tend to be large and complex to hook up.
Central heating systems are far more common in modern homes; examples use furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, and split systems. Homes with resistance heating systems can have baseboard heaters and wall heaters, which will warrant the use of line voltage thermostats.
If you’re unfamiliar with your HVAC system or HVAC systems in general, it is vital that you seek the aid of a service provider. Skilled technicians will be able to identify the HVAC system you are working with and what types of thermostats that will work with your setup.
If you do want to upgrade to a newer style of thermostat such as Wi-Fi or smart, they can also help you plan out the steps, if possible, that will need to take to make the switch.