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Which Thermostat is Right for you?

May 15, 2013

Thermostats are used to control the temperature of a building. They are set to the desired temperature and will turn heat or air conditioning on or off to maintain that set temp. There are sensors inside the device that detect the current temp and if it is below the set temperature, the thermostat will either turn on the heat or turn off the air conditioning. If it is above the set temperature, the device does the opposite, either turning off the heat or turning on the air conditioner. Which thermostat is right for you? Here are some of the most common thermostats used in homes.

  • Manual Thermostat: Also called a mechanical thermostat, this device is often found in older homes. It usually features a dial with a needle to set the temperature and a switch for heating or cooling. This thermostat is best for people who are home during most of the day and like to keep the temperature at a set level.

  • Digital Non-programmable Thermostat: A digital version of the manual thermostat, this version replaces the dial and needle with an easy to read Liquid Crystal Display (LCD). It remains very basic in that it features switches for automatic function, which turns the heating or cooling on or off as needed, an override to simply keep the unit’s fan on, and another switch to set between heating, cooling, and off. In addition to these switches, there is often rubber arrow shaped buttons which increases or decreases the desired temperature setting.
  • Programmable Thermostat: According to the United States Department of Energy, these thermostats can help save about 10 percent on your electricity by allowing you to set temperatures throughout the course of the day. Though it may seem intimidating to program, this thermostat will let you set temperatures for different times of day, usually four different time frames, as well as program the unit to function differently for weekends and weekdays. For example, a business that is not open weekends can have their thermostat set to not turn on at all during the weekend, but the thermostat will maintain the set temperature during typical work hours, like 9 am to 5 pm. It also features switches for heating and cooling, and can be briefly overridden to reach a set temp for about an hour before reverting to its preset program.
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