Much of our year-round comfort is brought to us by thermostats – those little boxes that sit on the wall and automatically turn the heating or air conditioning on or off to keep our homes at a pleasant temperature. However, many of these thermostats contain one or more mercury switches. Their sale has been banned for environmental reasons, but they have long lifespan and a large number are still in use today, despite their inefficiency. Do you still have one?
Choosing the right thermostat
Shown below are the four main types of thermostats on the market today. There are many makes and models to choose from. That can be very confusing because the right choice depends on your heating and cooling system. Give us a call or email us for assistance in choosing the type that is right for you.
There is an ideal thermostat for every home comfort system system.
Types of thermostat
Do not wait for your thermostat to “die”. You will be forced to make a quick decision. That can be daunting when your room temperatures are plummeting and you are faced with so many coices to make. There is so much choice it’s very easy to become confused over which type will suit the heating and cooling set-up you already have. So, here in a nutshell are what the main types of thermostat are.
A non-programmable thermostat is just that. Most models will have an LED display on the panel so you can at least see what temperature you’ve chosen; a temperature up and down button, and a button to switch from heating to cooling (or off). If you like to keep things simple and don’t mind pressing a button and waiting for your home to heat up or cool down, this type of thermostat might be the best option for you.
Programmable thermostats can make temperature control easier for you if you are impatient with a unit that requires you to press a button each time you want to change the temperature in your home. These come in a variety of different designs. Some are pretty basic, allowing you to choose a temperature for the morning and one for the afternoon or evening. Others will allow you to choose different times for different days. There even models that allow for up to four separate temperatures during a 24 hour period.
Touchscreen technology is to be found everywhere these days. This type of unit eliminates the need for buttons on the main panel which can require periodic maintenance to keep clean. The lack of buttons also reduces the chance of accidental button pressing that can mess up programmed settings. Pages of paper manual instructions are a thing of the past because everything can be accessed just by touching the screen. Just make sure the interface isn’t too complicated or too small easy manual input.
If you want the freedom to access your HVAC system when you’re not at home and control your system’s functionality 24/7, a Smart Thermostat is worth thinking about. It will enable you to save more money on propane, oil and electric bills. Smart Thermostat systems allow you to override the pre-set values of your programmed routine, allowing you 24/7 control no matter where you are. Before installing a WiFi enabled Smart Thermostat, refer to the important information below.
Thermostat and HVAC Compatibility
Important: While smart thermostats include do-it-yourself instructions and are straightforward to install, these thermostats need a continuous supply of 24 volt power, usually delivered through a wire known as a “C” wire. This common wire delivers uninterrupted low voltage power to illuminate the display and allow the thermostat to be available for communication from other wireless devices and smart phones. When the existing thermostat is removed, there is likely to be a connection terminal labeled “C”, which is the terminal the “C” wire would be connected to. If the “C” wire is not there, and not tucked behind the thermostat in the wall, a 18/5 wire will usually need to be run from the heating system to the thermostat. This can be done by one of our HVAC technicians.
Most new thermostats have batteries and that they must be checked and changed to ensure your thermostat does not stop working. You will have a loss of heating and cooling. If you place a service call and it is due to a battery change you will be charged for the service visit