Choosing The Right Thermostat For Your Home
Selecting the right thermostat for your home will improve the comfort and energy efficiency of your home. Programmable thermostats save homeowners an estimated 33% on their heating costs and 15-25% on their cooling costs. Picking the right thermostat is based on a number of factors like how often you need to use the heating and cooling system in your home and what features you want them to include.
What are programmable thermostats?
A thermostat is a device for regulating the temperature of a heating and air conditioning system so that the temperature is maintained near the desired set temperature. The thermostat does this by controlling the flow of heat energy into or out of the system.
Programmable thermostats adjust the temperature in your home throughout the day. This is done through manual programming. Being able to schedule when your air conditioning or heating system should turn off, on, or dial down a few degrees, catering the settings to your specific needs. Turning back your thermostat settings down 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting will save your home as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling a year.
Steps to Choosing the Right Thermostat for your Home
- Identify your heating and cooling system
- Choose the right type of thermostat that fits your system
- Select the features that fit your lifestyle
Identifying your heating and cooling system
When deciding which thermostat will fit our home the best, we must ensure it’s compatibility with our central heating and cooling system. The most common system types are central heat or central heat and air, which can be 24V, gas, oil or electric. Other system types include heat pumps and furnaces.
Here are some terms you should be familiar with that will help you in identifying your heating and cooling system if there is some confusion.
- Single-Stage Furnace – This refers to traditional gas heat and electrical air conditioning systems. This is the most common type of system in the country. Single stage heating means your furnace only has one level of heat output. These furnaces are either on and running at full capacity or off.
- Two-Stage or Multi-Stage Furnace – This is for heating and cooling systems that allow variable speeds from high and low. This allows your furnace to run at lower settings in the summer and higher settings during the colder winter months.
- Single-Stage Heat Pump – If you have a heat pump you will not need a separate air conditioning system because the heat pump does both functions of heating and cooling.
- Multi-Stage Heat Pump – This uses more than one system, this type of system uses the heat pump as an emergency heat source. The heat pump will operate by assisting your other heating and cooling unit to heat or cool faster and more efficiently.
- Direct Line Voltage – For older homes that use direct voltage. 110 or 240 direct current power source used in some older homes to power the thermostat. Modern homes use 24V (volts) to power the thermostat. Line voltage electric heat thermostats are common in older homes that use electric heaters. They are not used with gas heating.
If you are still unsure about the heating system being used in your home, examine your home’s temperature. If your heating and cooling system cycles on and off once it has reached the desired temperature then you have a single-stage system. If your home’s temperature has some consistency level in comfort and does not cycle on and off you have a multi-stage heating and cooling system.
Call an HVAC technician for a proper inspection as well as the best recommendation for what thermostat you will need.
Choosing between different thermostats
- Talking Thermostat – The talking thermostat offered by One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® is one of the best programmable thermostats out there. When selecting a programmable thermostat you want one that will allow your the flexibility of being able to change the settings as often as you need. There are common primary programming options that are available among programmable thermostats.
- 5-2 programming – This allows you to set a standard program that suits a five-day work schedule and another temperature setting for the weekend. Thus 5 days and 2 days settings.
- 5-1-1 programming – This allows you to set a similar programming schedule like 5-2 but gives you an option to set specifics for two days. You may require varying temperatures on the weekends Saturday and Sunday based on your lifestyle activities. Thus the meaning of 5 days, 1 day, and 1 day settings.
- 7-day programming – This setting allows you to program your thermostat for each day of the week. If your schedule is busy and varies daily, this setting is especially helpful for planning out your week.
- 1 week programming – This setting allows you to set a consistent temperature for your home for the entire week
- 2-2-1 programming – 2 days, 2 days, 1 day customized setting.
- Digital Thermostats – These thermostats are not programmable but have a digital face.
- Manual Thermostats – These thermostats are common in older homes, they are economical and are simple to control. You will need to manually set the thermostat every time the weather changes and be proactive in doing this not to use up excessive energy. These thermostats are difficult for having any energy savings and some older models are known to have mercury.
Selecting based on your lifestyle
As we mentioned before programmable thermostats, allow you to set the temperature specific to everyday usage in your home. This flexibility will help you conserve energy when you are not home to use the heating and cooling system, to adjust based on when you sleep, when you’re active, and different situations.
Additional features offered by programmable thermostats include:
- Touch Screen Controls – Modern feel, with touch sensitive buttons.
- Selectable Program Periods – Change the temperature throughout the day.
- Indicator Lights – Alerts you when your system is having issues like a dirty furnace filter or when the thermostat is low on battery.
- Backup Battery System
- Keyboard Lock – Prevent children from tampering with the settings.
- Vacation Mode – Set the temperature for best energy efficiency when you are away, and set it to turn back on the minute you return.
Call ARMS One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning for what thermostat works for your home, we will perform all the wiring requirements for your new thermostat, as well as walk you through how to program your new thermostat. (209) 357-8199