If at any point you’ve purchased new heating and cooling equipment, invested in routine service, or even regularly changed your air filters, you probably recognize the importance of an efficient, well-maintained HVAC system. It’s easy to forget the important role a thermostat plays in your system’s overall functionality and efficiency. If the primary expectation from our heating and cooling system is comfort, we should be paying more attention to the thermostat!
Although it usually stays out of sight and out of mind, the thermostat is a very powerful feature in residential HVAC systems. Charged with the task of controlling the operation of heating and cooling equipment, the thermostat is responsible for reaching and maintaining desired temperatures. Thermostats are like automatic sensors or switches, designed to react to temperature fluctuations. When the thermostat senses a difference in indoor temperature and system settings, it activates heating or cooling equipment to kick on.
By now you understand that thermostats control temperature and comfort. But, did you know that the ease and efficiency in which the system reaches optimal temperature factors into your monthly energy bill? Programming your thermostat is one of the best practices you can adopt to see real energy savings over time. According to the Department of Energy, you can save up to 10% per year on heating and cooling by turning the thermostat back 7°-10°F from its regular setting for 8 hours a day. Of course, this is made so much easier when the thermostat does the work for you!
If it’s been awhile since you shopped for a new thermostat, you may be surprised at all the special features and technologies available. You’ll likely come across two of the more popular types—touch screen programmable and smart (wireless) models.
Standard programmable thermostats with touch screen displays are some of the most basic, user-friendly models available. Although button panel models are still popular, for the sake of this comparison, we’ll focus on touch screen. Programmable models range in price depending on features, but you’ll find multiple options to fit your needs and budget. This type of thermostat is perfect for someone who wants programming options and additional features without all the bells and whistles of smart models.
Features of programmable thermostats may include:
- Smart Response Technology (Honeywell)
- 7-day programming to automate temperature 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Up to 4 heating/cooling stages per day
- Vacation modes for extended time away
- Screen prompts user, eliminating the need for a manual
- Filter change reminders and low battery indicator
Smart, wireless thermostats offer all of the features of a programmable model, plus more. Once installed, you can connect to the internet and download computer software or mobile apps to program the unit. This allows you to control temperature when you’re home and when you’re away. Some models intuitively learn your schedule, and others take a bit of human assistance and programming. If you’re interested in home automation and learning new technologies, upgrading to a smart model may be the right fit for you.
Features of smart, wireless thermostats may include:
- Motion sensor auto-scheduling
- Humidity sensors
- Instant savings feedback
- Weather condition updates
Trust in comfort specialists to find the right thermostat for you
Ideal indoor climate is relative to the homeowner. Considering that your daily habits, behaviors and the amount of time spent at home influence which model is best for you, choosing a thermostat can seem like a science. Carroll Plumbing & Heating Inc. is here to help you determine what thermostat is most compatible with your HVAC system and the needs of your family.
To hear our recommendations for the best thermostats, contact Carroll Plumbing & Heating Inc. today!