So you need a new thermostat and, because this may be the first time you’ve ever had to shop for one, you may not know where to begin. If that’s the case, consider three factors and, by the time you head to the store, you should feel ready and confident to make the right selection.
- First, decide if you want a manual or programmable thermostat. You may have a manual thermostat now; you set it and the temperature stays at that level until you walk up to the thermostat to manually change it. But a programmable thermostat allows you to set the temperature at variable levels throughout the day, so that you save money on energy when your home isn’t occupied. You also can set a programmable thermostat to really capitalize on savings. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that you can shave about 10 percent a year from your heating and cooling bills using a programmable device to seasonally adjust the thermostat’s settings by at least 10 percent for eight hours.
- Select a new thermostat that is compatible with your HVAC system. Do you have a single-stage heating and cooling system or a two-stage system? Does your system require direct line voltage, often used in older homes, or does it run on the standard 24mV?
- Decide which objectives and options are most important to you. If you are sold on the idea of a programmable thermostat, think about how long of a period you can set your thermostat for–without setting off family squabbles about the “right” temperature.
Your programming choices generally allow for:
- Seven-day programming, so you can program settings for each day of the week separately
- Five-two programming, so you can set a different schedule for weekdays and weekends
- Five-one-one programming, so you can set a weekday, Saturday and Sunday schedule
- One-week programming, so that you can set one program that lasts all week
Programmable thermostats can also come equipped with a backlit display, vacation mode and convenient touch-screen controls, among other features.
Once you have a programmable thermostat, you won’t know how you lived without one. If you need assistance making this sure-fire, energy-saving home improvement, call the thermostat experts at T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Thermostat image via Shutterstock