Customer Guide: Thermostats
A thermostat is a switch used to keep your house at a comfortable temperature by keeping the temperature at a limit preset by you, the user. There are many types of thermostats available to homeowners, dependant upon the style of heating and cooling system in your home. There are also many "bells and whistles" available to customers looking for something more than just keeping the temperature set. First, let's look at the various heating and cooling setups that can determine the type of thermostat you will need to keep your home temperature at a comfortable level. Here they are:
1.) Conventional (Gas furnace with an air conditioner outdoors)
2.) Heat Pump System ( with electric air handler indoors)
3.) Hybrid System (heat pump outside with gas furnace indoors)
4.) Geothermal System
5.) Boiler Heat
It is very important to know which type of system you have in your home, because not every thermostat will work in each situation. This is just the starting point, though, because after you know which type of system you have, you can focus on the optional aspects of thermostat technology. The most basic choice to make at this point is wheter you want a programmable or non-programmable (manual) thermostat. Manual thermostats are the most basic and economical options available. They are simple controls that set the system to keep the temperature of the place they're located at a set position. These thermostats are typically slightly less efficient, meaning your system will probably run more often with one, unless you are very diligent about keeping them set at the proper temperature. Programmable thermostats offer options to schedule what the temperature of your home will be depending upon the time of day or day of the week. You can set them to, for example, be warmer in the home during the summer while you're gone at work, then be cooler by the time you normally get home for the evening. These thermostats are typically more expensive, though they've lowered as they have become more common. Programmable thermostats are also generally more efficient, because of the lessened burden on your heating and cooling equipment. A type of programmable thermostat becoming more popular is the learning stat. Learning thermostats are programmable type stats that program themselves based off of when and how you change the temperature.
There are other, smaller, choices to consider when choosing a thermostat. Here are some of the more common smaller choices to consider when choosing your thermostat.
-Touch screen v. button control
-Smartphone/app based control
-Humidity control-If you have a humidifier or dehumidifier that works through your duct, certain thermostats can replace your humidistat
-Zone control-If you have a zoned HVAC system, certain termostats can control multiple zones at a time.
-Vacation mode-This is a temporary program that you can set for a period of time away from home. Helps to keep energy cost low while you're away from the house for a set amount of time.