A thermostat is a switch that is temperature-sensitive and responsible for turning your heating and cooling systems on and off. The switch recognizes the preset limit fixed and turns the air conditioner off when the indoor temperature reaches that limit. When the temperature starts rising after some time, the switch turns the air conditioner on again. This program works vice versa for heaters.
A thermostat conducts a range of operations. These could be simple manual operations or technology-based programmable units. There are different types of functionalities to offer users with enhanced and efficient operation.
Choosing a thermostat
The selection of a thermostat is easy. The recent technology has paved the way for units that are of universal compatibility. They feature product information on the package, which makes thermostats easy to understand and install. However, there are some basic rules that you need to be aware of while choosing a thermostat.
Different types of Thermostats
Based on your need and comfort requirements, you can choose a thermostat from the various options available today. But first you need to have fairly good knowledge about the different types of thermostats.
To start off with, there are 2 basic types of thermostats – Manual Thermostats and Programmable Thermostats
Both manual thermostats and programmable thermostats control the air conditioning. They also work on different types of furnaces that may be of gas, oil or electric. Manual thermostats are ones that are usually found in old houses and mansions. They are typically economical units with controls that are simple and easy to operate by different people. They work efficiently, but you need to diligently set the temperature controls often. Their settings need to be changed as the temperature changes. In addition, they provide limited comfort and energy savings.
Programmable thermostats work automatically with minimum human intervention. They adjust the room temperature throughout the day without the need to set and reset the settings. They can save as much as 33% of your energy costs in heating operations and 15 to 25% energy costs in cooling operations. There are advanced models that have the ability to alternate between air conditioning and heating, especially during seasonal transitions. They feature a simple interface that is easy to operate. Some mercury-free models are also available.
Compatibility with your heating systems and air conditioners
Your thermostat needs to be compatible with your home comfort systems. You can refer to the information printed on the packaging labels to choose a thermostat that is compatible with your HVAC system. Below are a few terms with which you should be familiar to determine capability with your HVAC system.
- There are thermostats with 1, 2, and multi-stage heating or cooling capabilities.
- There are switches that work with direct line voltage and ones that works with 24mV. The latter is usually used with a fireplace, wall or floor furnace.
- Finally, there are thermostats that are made for zoned HVAC devices. These systems feature individually controls for heating and cooling from the same HVAC system.
Thermostats to suit your lifestyle
Programmable thermostats are most suited for the modern lifestyles. They can provide you with the required levels of comfort. All you need to do is set different temperatures for the various parts of the day. Their energy-saving temperature feature helps you save energy even when you are away or sleeping.
You need to select a thermostat that allows changes in settings often. While there are thermostats with preset schedules that are based on common household energy requirements, there are also thermostats that are pre-programmed and need no further setting adjustments. All that is required is plain installation.
It is important that you keep in mind the flexibility you need for your day to day comfort requirements. You could choose from any of these options:
- 7-day programming
- 5-2 programming
- 5-1-1 programming
- Week-long programming
Programmable thermostats also come with a variety of controls that also allow for changing the preset program schedule when required. These have a number of features, including touch screen controls, backlit display panels and remote programming and control.