You don’t have to keep the themostat you have. You can buy one suitable to your home, budget, and life. But, where do you start?
Your thermostat is important because it controls the temperature in your home. Having the wrong thermostat could mean higher heating costs. Take a look at how to pick the right thermostat for your home so you’re always comfortable and warm.
Step one: determine existing heating and cooling systems
The type of thermostat you need depends a lot on the type of existing heating and cooling systems you have in your home. That’s why the first step is to determine if you have a furnace or some other type of heating system. Not all homes are built the same and construction choices vary a lot based on climate, cost, and space.
A large chunk of homes have a gas or electric furnace, but some have a heat pump, baseboard heat, ceiling cable heat, wall-mounted heat, fireplace, or radiant floor heat. Likewise, cooling systems vary from one home to another, such as swamp coolers or central air. If you have difficulty determining your heating and cooling sources, contact an HVAC specialist.
Step two: pick a thermostat
You basically have three options when it comes to choosing a thermostat — programmable, digital, or mechanical. There is an option for most types of heating and cooling systems found in your home. Take a look at the breakdown below.
- Mechanical: These are the simplest type of thermostats. They’re typically found in older homes and feature a simple dial or slider for adjusting the temperature. They must be changed manually every time you want to change the temperature in your home. However, they are the easiest to use.
- Digital: The only difference between a mechanical and digital thermostat is that a digital thermostat displays the temperature on a screen. You still need to adjust it up and down manually.
- Programmable: This is the best type of thermostat to buy unless you are wary of technology. Programmable thermostats allow you to set different temperatures based on the day of the week or the hour of the day. Programmable thermostats change the temperature in your home automatically.
Step three: install your thermostat
Once you pick a thermostat for your home, placement is critical. You want to install it in a central location in your home to get an accurate temperature reading. Avoid outer walls and make sure it is easily accessible.
Of course, you don’t want to place it too close to a room’s focal point where it can be an eyesore. Ideally, your thermostat should be close to your heating and cooling systems. Choose the location that makes the most sense for your home.
Step four: set your thermostat
If you chose a manual thermostat, you’ll have to set it to a temperature that makes you feel comfortable. Then, turn your thermostat down if you plan on being gone for a few days to save on energy. Some people even manually turn their thermostat down when they leave for work in the morning.
Programmable thermostats give you a lot more options than manual thermostats. You can set them to adjust the temperature in your home based on the day. For instance, you can leave the temperature higher on the weekends when you’re at home and lower on weekdays when you’re at work. You can also set the temperature lower after 10 pm if you like cooler sleeping temperatures.
Choosing a thermostat isn’t hard if you know what you need and want. There are lots of options, so consider what’s most important to you in terms of cost and functionality.