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Thermostats – are some better than others?

Who really ever pays attention to their thermostat other than when it quits working properly or at all.  Is it really worth spending extra money for one thermostat over another?  And what’s all the hype about programmable thermostats?  This post gives a cursory overview of several different types of thermostats.  There is a little more involved, but with this information, you will get a basic understanding of different types of thermostats available on the market.  Of course, to find the best one for you, you may want to consult with an experienced electrician and hvac contractor such as Peter Needham.

Types of Thermostats

Let’s start with smart thermostats.  There are several brands out there.  One popular brand is the NEST thermostat.  Peter Needham Electrical is a certified NEST thermostat installer.  NEST thermostats pay attention to your living habits and program themselves accordingly.  They can help you save money by adjusting the temperature when you’re away from home, when you go to bed, etc.  Furthermore, you can control the smart thermostat using your smart phone when you’re not home, as long as it is connected to your wifi. The downside is they can be pricey. However, the claim is that they will recoup their cost in 2-3 years by making up for it in energy efficiency.  So, that is something to definitely consider when choosing a thermostat.

Conventional programmable thermostats.  Conventional programmable thermostats can be preprogrammed to change temperature at certain times during the day for a 7 day week.  They are unlike smart thermostats in that they don’t “learn” and adjust themselves to your living habits and they cannot be controlled using your smart phone and wifi.  They are completely dependent upon manual preprogramming.  Programmable thermostats can also save you money on heating and cooling as long as you have programmed them accordingly.  There are many brands to choose from as well as many price points. The upside is conventional programmable thermostats are less costly than smart thermostats. The downside is they must be manually programmed and they are not smart.

Mechanical. These are not as efficient nor are they very easy to adjust precisely as an electronic programmable or electronic non programmable thermostat.  They are perhaps the cheapest option for thermostats. The upside is they are less affected by power outages.



Non-programmable digital.  These are pretty much what they sound like.  They have a digital display and you have to set the temperature manually.  There is no preprogramming available.  They are easier to set more precisely and can be more energy efficient than the mechanical thermostat and they are economical to purchase, however, they won’t help as much with energy efficiency as a programmable thermostat can and they cannot be connected to wifi for control with your smart phone.



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