How Do You Choose the Right Thermostat?


Second to the furnace itself, the thermostat is the most important device in your house keeping you comfortable. Thermostat technology has matured some over the years, where once you just had to decide where in the cave to place your fire now you have an entire row at your local home improvement store to choose between. The thermostat decision is a big one, only choosing your children’s’ preschool is maybe more important. Don’t believe me? Think about the arguments you have with your spouse and/or roommate. No one can ever agree what the perfect temperature is. Who hasn’t listened to parents or siblings argue over the temperature in the house, confusion over Fahrenheit or Celsius, or heard the statement “If you’re cold put a sweater on but don’t touch that thermostat!”? While I haven’t done the research, I am positive there is an article somewhere titled: Florida Man cuts off grandmother’s fingers when she tried to turn up the thermostat again. To avoid the temptation to follow in Florida man’s footsteps maybe it is time you to look to see what thermostat options are out there. There are a lot of choices out there when it comes to finding a new thermostat. There is everything from the classic slide style thermostat all the way up to voice-activated Wi-Fi enabled programmable thermostats. A new thermostat may be necessary if the one you currently have is broken, but they can also help you save money on your heating bill or help make your system more efficient. To choose a thermostat you must first find out what kind of heating system you have, what you hope to gain from a thermostat, and what your budget is. So, which one is right for your home and your heating system?

The age and type of your heating system can determine what kind of thermostat will be best. For example, not all of the new-fangled thermostats will work with an older system and, in reverse, the classic style thermostats can waste the potential of a brand-new furnace system. The first thing to check is how many wires your current thermostat has running to it. You can do this by taking the cover off your thermostat and behind it should be anywhere from 2 to 6 wires. If there are only 2 wires this can limit your selection, it means that your thermostat can only control when the heat turns on and off. There are a few basic programmable thermostats that will work with 2 wires and of course the classic on-off thermostats. There is one brand of Wi-Fi enabled thermostat that will work with two wires called the EcoBee However, thermostats like the Nest are not recommended for two wire systems. The more wires there are to connect between the thermostat and the furnace provide more control over the system in general. More wires mean you can turn the fan on and off without having the heat running, you can connect air conditioning, or if your furnace has the capability, you can control heating stages allowing the furnace to burn only as much gas as is required.

When it comes to saving money and making your system more efficient a programmable thermostat is always recommended. A programmable thermostat allows you to set your heat to fit your schedule, so you are not heating an empty house, the proverbial leaving the door open to heat the whole neighbourhood. This will save you money on your utility bills and decrease your carbon footprint, so you pay less into the dreaded carbon tax.

The next step above programmable thermostats is Wi-Fi enabled thermostats. Wi-Fi thermostats can be accessed using an app on your phone so you that you can monitor your heating system from anywhere that you have cellular access, or even from the couch to save yourself from missing whether Jon Snow is really dead this time. You can use this feature to further enhance efficiency by keeping the temperature low if you are going to be home late. Another benefit to Wi-Fi thermostats, as my father-in-law has discovered, is while you are on vacation you can check on your heating system and see if there are any issues. You can also adjust the temperature from your phone and annoy your wife while you aren’t home. Bonus feature: most of the apps will tell you when to change your filter, if there are any errors, and what equipment is currently running. Of course, there is always the Star Trek-esque thermostats that you can have all the capabilities of the Wi-Fi enabled thermostats but can be connected to Amazon Alexa or Google Assist and can be controlled with your voice. “Alexa turn up the heat, I don’t feel like finding a sweater” oh what a time to be alive!

When It comes to thermostats there are a ton of options, these options can be narrowed down based on wiring, the kind of heating system you have, your budget, and your feature wish list. So, whether you’re looking for that classic “don’t touch the thermostat go put on a sweater” or a “turn up the heat Alexa, sweaters be damned” there is a thermostat for you. Instead of using thermostat tinder to find the perfect one for your, call Firefly Plumbing and using our superior match technology we can pair you with the perfect thermostat that will be with you until the end of times, or at least until Skynet takes over.

My Childhood

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