Which Thermostat is Best for Your Home & Your Lifestyle?

A Guide to Choosing the Best Home Comfort Control.

While your furnace and air conditioner act as the heart of your HVAC system, thermostats are often referred to as the brain. A thermostat’s job is to communicate with all of your HVAC components, telling them when to turn on or shut off. When it comes to home thermostats, there are many different options and it’s not always easy to know which one is best for your home. The HVAC experts at Raymond Plumbing put together the guide below to help you understand the differences between thermostats and what you should know when buying.

The first step is to identify the type of heating & cooling system in your home – Not all thermostats are made to control all types of heating and cooling systems. Before you buy it’s important to know what components make up your home’s HVAC system. Do you have a gas or oil fired furnace, heat pump, boiler electric baseboard heat, radiant heat, air conditioner, ductless split system, etc.?

The next step is to verify thermostat compatibility – The second aspect to consider is the power source to your thermostat. Is your home fitted with 24mV, 1 state, 2 state, direct line voltage, or zone heating & cooling? New thermostats will clearly label which power source they are compatible with. Below are the different types of power sources:

  • Works with 1 Stage heat or cool: For homes with separate heating and air conditioning systems.
  • Works with 2 Stage or multi-stage heat or cool: Designed for HVAC systems that have high and low speeds.
  • Works with Direct Line Voltage: Commonly used in older homes that have direct power to the thermostat.
  • Works with 24mV: Fireplace, floor, or wall furnace usage.
  • Zoned HVAC: For homes that have individually controlled heating and cooling in different areas of the house with one HVAC system.

The last step is to select a type of thermostat and the features you would like, based on your equipment and compatibility findings. Thermostats today come with a variety of features and options that are designed to suit your specific needs. There are three main types of thermostats to choose from and we outlined the benefits of each below:

  • Manual or Non-Programmable
    • Typically found in older homes.
    • Simple interface with minimal features, buttons and controls.
    • Best if you are not tech savvy or prefer to manually control the temperature settings inside your home.
  • Programmable
    • Easy to operate digital interface, that come with traditional button and touch-screen technologies.
    • Allows you to set a schedule, where your thermostat will automatically adjust the temperature of your home throughout the day based on pre-defined set-points.
    • Choose from 7-day (daily individual programs), 5-2 day (work week vs. weekend programs), 5-1-1 (work week plus two different programs for Saturday and Sunday), 1-week (same week-long program).
    • Select models will not only control your home’s heating and cooling system, but also indoor air quality components as well.
    • Save on your heating and cooling costs with energy efficient programming.
  • Smart / Wi-Fi
    • Similar options and features as programmable thermostats.
    • Most advanced energy saving settings
    • Great if you travel a lot because it can be controlled from anywhere using any smart device with an internet connection.

Finding the perfect thermostat or control system for your home is simple once you understand the heating and cooling needs of your home. Whether you are looking for a high-tech, high-performance control, or would like to keep things simple with a programmable or non-programmable thermostat, the increasing number of options for comfort control will make it convenient for you to find exactly what you’re looking for.

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