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Selecting the Right Thermostat for Your Home

2021-03-12

Selecting the Right Thermostat for Your Home
A thermostat can help keep your home comfortable and control energy usage. Your choice of a thermostat will depend on the type of heating and cooling system in your home, how you want to use the thermostat and the features you want available.

Identifying the Heating and Cooling System Type
Before choosing a thermostat, you’ll need to make sure it’s compatible with your heating and cooling system. The most common system types are central heat or central heat and air, which can be 24-volt (V), gas, oil or electric. Other system types include heat pump, electric baseboard, fireplace and floor/wall furnace.
Choose a Thermostat Type

Learning/Smart
Learning or smart thermostats offer the benefit of being programmable but don’t require you to program them. They learn as you use them and create a schedule based on your preferences. They can turn themselves down when you’re away, guide you to energy-efficient settings and provide monthly energy reports.
These thermostats connect to your home Wi-Fi network and can be monitored, set and managed over Wi-Fi from a computer, smartphone or tablet. Sensors can work with a smart thermostat to identify which rooms are cooler or warmer and adjust settings for you.

Remote Energy Management
A remote energy management thermostat allows you to set, program and monitor your heating and cooling system from a computer, smartphone or tablet. The thermostat connects through a hub (sold separately) to your home broadband network, allowing you to access it over Wi-Fi from anywhere.

Programmable
A programmable thermostat makes the most efficient use of your system by automatically adjusting the set temperature throughtout the day. You let the thermostat know your preferred temperature at different times of the day and night, then forget about it — the thermostat does the work.

Digital Nonprogrammable
A nonprogrammable thermostat with a digital read-out is the best choice for people who prefer manually controlled settings with the convenience of an easy-to-read LCD display.

Mechanical/Manual
With a mechanical or manual thermostat, you control the temperature setting manually. These are best for people who are home often and prefer a fixed temperature.

Most smart thermostats will require a continuous flow of electricity, which comes directly from your furnace's transformer. Some older homes might not have the wire that connects the thermostat to the furnace, called the C-wire. To determine whether or not you have a C-wire, detach your thermostat from the wall, find the terminal labeled "C" and see if there's a wire attached to it. If there is, you're good to go with a smart thermostat installation. If not, contact an electrician to determine the best path forward.

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