Types of Thermostats Explained
Do you know how to select the right thermostat for your needs? It may seem like a trivial thing to consider, but the type of thermostat you choose can have a major impact on the comfort of your home, and your wallet.
“Today, there are so many choices when it comes to thermostats,” says Phil Montgomery, owner of Atlanta Heating and Air Conditioning. “It can be overwhelming to determine which is right for your home. There are three main types of thermostats, but then a host of options in each of those categories.”
- Mechanical thermostats – These can be used for heat only, or for heating and cooling, however, they cannot switch from heat to cool automatically. The thermostat operates by triggering a metal bar that heats up or cools down. These are the easiest and cheapest thermostats available, but are often the most unreliable. They tend to have a slow response that can cause significant temperature variations in your home.
- Digital and electronic thermostats – These types of thermostats have a liquid crystal display temperature and set point display. They contain a sensor that detects when the temperature moves away from the desired temperature, allowing for better control over the comfort of your home. They offer a better response time to temperature variations than mechanical thermostats can.
- Programmable thermostats – These are digital thermostats that allow the home owner to set the temperature of the home, based on a schedule the home owner determines. They can be programmed to change the temperature at a given time of day, so the homeowner can avoid heating or cooling the home when no one is there, and to ensure the home is at a comfortable temperature when returning home for the day. Many have different features, such as the ability to create one schedule for weekdays and another for weekends.
In addition, there are also thermostats that operate wirelessly, giving homeowners maximum control over their homes. Wonder if you forgot to adjust the temperature of your home before you left for the day? Simply log on wirelessly and adjust the temperature from your office, or even while on vacation.
The fancier the thermostat, the more expensive it will be. However, you may be able to recoup some of that in energy savings from being able to have maximum control over the temperature in your home.
No matter what type of thermostat you choose, it’s important that it be located in the proper place to ensure maximum efficiency. Never place it in direct sunlight, near windows, doors or radiant heat, on an outside wall or too close to the ground. For best operation, a thermostat should be placed on an inside wall as close to the return air grill as possible.
If you have questions about which type of thermostat might be best for you, ask the experts at Atlanta Heating and Air Conditioning.