A thermostat proves to be useful in many ways. It warms your room in winter and cools it when the sun shines brightly.
The thermostats also are energy-efficient. This, in turn, saves money on your bills.
In this guide, I will explain all the things you need to know prior buying a thermostat.
Once you read this, you will have the necessary knowledge to make the right decision. Read along to find out.
Different Types of Thermostat:
Before we get into the other factors you need to consider prior buying a thermostat, let us talk about the different types of thermostats first. This will have a serious impact on your buying decision.
Mechanical or Manual Thermostats:
First of all, I will talk about mechanical or manual thermostats. This is the oldest type of thermostats out there on the market. These thermostats are made with several mechanical mechanisms paired together. There is a dial on the device. You need to rotate the dial and set it to your preferred temperature. There is no other way to control the room temperature with this kind of thermostats. There is no digital display screen as well.
Mechanical or manual thermostats were in business about a decade ago. However, now as more advanced types have taken over the market, they have become a thing of the past.
Digital thermostats are of two types. These are non-programmable thermostats and programmable thermostats. Now, let us see what they do.
As you can already guess from the name, the non-programmable thermostats do not have a programming function. The thermostats are easy to use as well. It enables you do fluctuate the room temperature as per your wish to cool or warm a room. You need to do this by using the temperature decrease and increase buttons. You will be able to see all the temperature fluctuations on the digital screen of the thermostat.
Programmable thermostats are the most advanced thermostat with new cutting-edge technology. These have programming abilities. You can set up the temperature alterations for upcoming days, and even for upcoming weeks. As a result, all the functions of the thermostat, be it the temperature fluctuations, the switching on and off of the thermostat, as well as other functions, can be scheduled prior time and executed in a coordinated manner.
All of this makes the process much easier for you. You do not need to change the settings every now and then. As a result, there is a lot less hassle on your part. In addition, the only thing you need to do is the programming. The thermostat does the rest of the work through its sensors.
Smart and Wireless Thermostats:
Smart and wireless thermostats are another model you can look at. They do not have wires, as you can already guess. They can be connected via several different connectivity portals like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and so on and so forth. However, the most widely used method is Wi-Fi. In addition, you can link these thermostats to various other gadgets such as the furnace, heater, dehumidifier, air conditioner, and so on as well. All the other functions of these thermostats are similar to those of programmable thermostats.
Which One Should You Buy:
Now, to help you further, I will now give you specific insights about which types of thermostats you should buy for yourself.
Mechanical or Manual Thermostats:
The mechanical or manual thermostats are a relic these days. Buy them if you are on a tight budget and if you are a lover of the vintage.
Non-programmable thermostats are best suited for you in case you want something better than mechanical or manual ones, but still want to keep things simple.
You should buy programmable thermostats in case you are a person who does not want to adjust temperatures and other settings every now and then. These products will help you achieve that.
Smart and Wireless Thermostats:
Buy the smart and wireless thermostats if you are a person who loves technology and wants full control over your devices.
Other Things to Consider before Buying a Thermostat:
Now that we have covered all the different types and know which one should you buy, let us consider some other factors that would have a lasting impression over your buying decision.
First of all, like any other buying decision, you would have to give a good amount of thought to your budget. Are you on a tight one? Or can you splurge that extra amount of cash? Think about it rationally. If you want to save on your budget, the mechanical or manual thermostats are your best bet. On the other hand, the price will obviously rise as you go up the scale. The smart and wireless thermostats are the most expensive ones, with non-programmable and programmable ones being in the middle of the spectrum.
Next, you need to check the thermostat’s compatibility with the HVAC system of your house. This is especially true for the smart and wireless thermostats. While all the other types work with all the usual cooling and heating systems, smart ones may not be compatible with all of them. If unchecked, this can create problems. Therefore, always keep in mind to check them beforehand. In addition, in case you are someone who has separate heating and cooling systems, you might have to install a separate thermostat for each of the systems. Also, you need to do this for each heating and cooling zone as well.
You would also need to check the wiring compatibility. A great way to do this is to just open your older thermostat. Check the wiring type it works on. Now, you will have a proper idea of it. In general, almost every programmable, non-connected thermostat is compatible with even two low-voltage wires. This was the common phenomena on the heating systems of the past. On the other hand, nowadays the more advanced thermostats need a common wire, also known as C-wire. The reason behind this is the constant power needed for features such as Wi-Fi and displays are provided by the C-wire. In case you do not know what a C-wire is, consult an HVAC technician.
Now, what if you do not have a C-wire and you still want to install a smart thermostat? Do not worry, you can. I will now talk about a few such ways.
- The easiest way is to buy a model that does not need a C-wire to function. However, keep in mind that some HVAC professionals advice against it. According to them, your mechanical equipment can get damaged in this way.
- Another option is to buy a thermostat with a power adapter or power extender. They let you add a C-wire to your system.
- You can also buy and install a third-party add-a-wire adapter.
- You can also have a C-wire professionally installed.
Auto Changeover Switch:
An auto changeover switch helps the thermostat to switch automatically between cooling and heating. This feature is especially beneficial where nights are much cooler than days.
Automated Temperature Changes:
You can find this feature only on the smart thermostats. They use geo-fencing, which is described later, along with some other software to learn your routines and behaviors. Then, the thermostat creates a temperature changing schedule on its own. No manual programming is needed for this.
App and Voice Controls:
Smart thermostats come with companion smartphone apps. Therefore, you can enable automation features as well as controlling them remotely. In addition, most of them are also compatible with virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. As a result, you can even change the temperature with just your voice.
Clear Screen Prompts and Intuitive Controls:
With this feature, there is a clear system-status display. It shows whether the AC or the heat is activated. In addition, you can read and programme easily at night or in dark halls, thanks to the large backlit display.
This feature is available only on some smart thermostats. This feature lets you track your location through your smartphone to adjust the temperature.
Filter Change Reminder:
Whenever the AC filter or the furnace requires changing, the filter change reminder will alert you to the situation.
So, this is everything you need to know about thermostats before you buy a thermostat. If you have any more questions in your mind, or if you want me to talk about something else, please do let me know in the comments section.