Home thermostats come in many different shapes and sizes. When the time comes to choose a new one it can be difficult to know which one is right for your needs. Luckily, there are only a few technical things one have to worry about when buying a new thermostat.
For the most part, your choice in thermostat will be widely determined by your personal preference and comfort with technology. With that said, here’s a quick run-down of what you should consider before purchasing a new thermostat.
1. Manual, Programmable, or Smart?
Generally speaking, there are three main types of thermostats that you can choose from: manual, programmable, and smart.
Manual thermostats are the ‘old-school’ way of regulating your homes indoor temperature. They typically feature a dial that you rotate (although some have a small digital interface with manual buttons) to set your desired temperature and it will do its best to keep your room at the selected temperature until you switched it off. Manual thermostats are by far the simplest of the three, but they offer few convenience features and are not particularly energy efficient.
Programmable thermostats on the other hand help alleviate some of the shortcomings of manual thermostats by giving the user more choice and control over their home’s temperature. Programmable thermostats feature a digital display with manual buttons for inputting your desired temperature. Some units may feature a touchscreen instead of buttons. The primary difference between a programmable thermostat and a manual one is that a programmable thermostat can regulate your homes temperature automatically based on your needs. In many cases, programmable thermostats allow the user to program a heating/cooling schedule that will automatically keep the house cool while you are away and heat back up when you are on your way home. However, programmable thermostats often only allow you to have one programmed schedule and they have a very limited feature set when compared to the more modern smart devices.
Smart thermostats are the epitome of the modern household thermostat. They are usually connected to the internet via Wi-Fi and thus are capable of far greater functions. Smart thermostats allow you to program custom climate schedules for each day of the week (rather than just one or two pre-programmed schedules, like with programmable thermostats) giving you complete and total control over your homes temperature. Depending on the model you get, smart thermostats are also capable of communicating with your smart phone through the manufactures mobile app. This allows you to check, maintain, and make changes to your homes temperature even when you are away. Although smart thermostats bare the biggest upfront costs, their ability to save you money in energy bills may make up for this.
2. Compatibility With Your Home
After choosing your preferred type of thermostat your next step should be to verify if your chosen thermostat will be compatible with your homes heating and cooling systems. Listed below are the types of heating and cooling systems used in most homes:
1 Stage: Separate heating and cooling units
2 Stage: Heating and cooling units with a low and a high setting
Direct Line Voltage: Used in older homes, 110 or 240 DC power source for the thermostat.
24 mV: Fireplace, floor, or wall furnace
Zone: One HVAC system control heating and cooling multiple different areas of the home.
If you need further help identifying what type of heating and cooling system your home utilizes, feel free to give us a call.
3. Personal Preference
Once you have determined the type of thermostat you want and have verified that it will be compatible with the existing HVAC systems in your home, it is time to choose a model. Choosing a thermostat model boils down entirely to personal preference and choosing a model that will do everything that you want/need your thermostat to do.
Do you want a thermostat that has all the latest features?
Are you looking for a less expensive no-thrills unit?
Do you want to be able to control your thermostat from your smartphone?
These will be the questions you will have to ask yourself when searching for the model of thermostat that you want.
If you have any further questions about your homes thermostat or if you need further assistance in choosing the right thermostat type or model for you, feel free to contact us. Comfort Air stands ready to best service your thermostat and other HVAC related needs!