Thermostats are an important, and often overlooked, part of your HVAC system. With all the thermostat options available homeowners sometimes get overwhelmed and choose whatever looks good or is cheap without putting much thought into functionality.
Why heat your home in the winter when no one is home? Why keep it cool in the summer while you are on vacation?
Installing a thermostat that allows your to automatically adjust your home’s temperature based on your lifestyle is key to saving money on your energy bills while maintaining your comfort.
If you keep reading I will break down the different types of thermostats and explain how they may be costing you money and how they can save you money.
These are easy to use. You turn the dial or move the lever to the desired temperature and that’s it. If you want it set on 72°, you move it a little past the 70° and it will be close. These thermostats are old, outdated, and they are not helping your energy bills. They are the dinosaurs of thermostats. If you have one of these, you should upgrade. You can literally pick any other thermostat in this article and it will be better.
Digital Non-Programmable Thermostats:
Like their dinosaur ancestors, the digital non-programmable thermostat is easy to use. You simply select heat or cool and a temperature. Unlike the mechanical thermostats, the digital thermostat will allow you to set a specific temperature. It is better than the mechanical thermostat but it is not helping you maximize your energy efficiency.
Digital Programmable Thermostats:
This is the entry level into energy efficiency. A programmable thermostat, like this American Standard Silver 602, will allow you to set different temperatures in your home for different times of the day. You can even program different times of the day for each day of the week.
For example, in the winter you can lower your homes temperature during the day if no one is home and during the night when everyone is sleeping. This will keep your furnace from running as much and save you money on your heating bill without you even realizing a difference in your homes comfort.
In the summer you can let your home warm up a little during the day when no one is home to keep your air conditioner from running as much. This is a good way to lower your electricity bill without sacrificing your comfort.
WiFi / Wireless Thermostats:
These are the “bee’s knees” of thermostats. A wireless thermostat, like this AccuLink Platinum 1050, will allow you to access your homes HVAC settings from anywhere. This is good for the unknowns in your life. If you have a programmable thermostat that lets your home cool down on a winter day, you don’t want to come home and wait for your home to warm back up. With this thermostat you can adjust the temperature before you get home so you will walk through your front door into comfort.
These thermostats have many options available. You can get a basic model that allows you to run a program for different days of the week and adjust setting with a smartphone app, or you can get one that gives you weather forecasts and more.
This thermostat will allow you to maximize your energy savings in almost any situation.
Smart Home Systems:
If you want to take your whole home to the next level you can install something like this Nexia Smart Home System. These types of systems control more than just your HVAC system. They control entry to your home with wireless locks or digital keypads. They control your lights, power outlets, security system, and more. Smart home systems put control of your entire home in one place and allow you to access it anywhere.
There are also thermostats that have a power outlet in them. They are made to use with space heater, window air conditioners, and other portable heating and cooling units. They basically shut off the power when the desired temperature is met and turn it back on when needed.
There are not many options in the outlet thermostat category, but you might find them useful.
So what do you do with all this new knowledge?
First decide what type of thermostat you want. I would go with the Nexia Smart Home System, but that’s just me. Then look at the features you want and compare prices.
Once you settle on a new thermostat you can install it yourself, or if you can call a professional. It can be installed by a professional fairly quickly.
If you are still unsure about what thermostat is right for you, give us a call, comment, or email and we will be glad to answer all of your questions.