There are a wide variety of thermostats for consumers to choose from. But which one is right for you and your home? We want to help you answer that question. At a glance, there are three primary types of thermostats to choose from—manual, programmable, and smart. We’re going to explain each type to help you make an informed decision.
Also called “mechanical” or “non-programmable” thermostats, manual thermostats are the most basic type of thermostats you can buy. You must manually adjust it to turn your HVAC system on or off and control the temperature.
Within this category of thermostats are two sub types:
- Digital – use arrow buttons to control the temperature
- Analog – have a dial to change the temperature
A downside to manual thermostats is that they aren’t always the most precise when it comes to temperature control. In fact, some manual thermostats have about a +/- 3° differential, while other types of thermostats are at +/- 1° differential.
A programmable thermostat does what its name suggests; it can be programmed to run at different temperatures at specific days/times of the week which in turn will save you money on your energy bills. In fact, according to energy.gov, programmable thermostats can save you up to $180 per year in lower energy bills.
Smart thermostats are programmable thermostats that have taken connectivity and in-home comfort to the next level. You can control it from your computer, tablet, or smartphone which means you can adjust your home’s temperature remotely.
Although they come in at a higher price point, smart thermostats have superior features and benefits while simultaneously saving you money on your utility bills each month.
Some enhanced features you can expect to find on smart (and some programmable) thermostats include:
- Touch screen display
- Voice instructions and notifications
- Air filter alerts
- Multiple programmable schedules
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