How to Choose a Thermostat for Your Home

By Josh Crank, July 5, 2018, Energy Efficiency, Home Improvement

Not long ago, there were only two basic categories of thermostats: manual and programmable. But in the age of the Internet of Things, we now have a third option — the smart thermostat — that allows a level of climate control we didn’t have before. And while the smart thermostat is the thermostat of the future, it’s still worth putting a little thought into which is the right thermostat for your home.

How to Choose a Thermostat for Your Home | Bounce Energy Blog

What’s Your Ideal Thermostat Type?

Manual Thermostat

A manual thermostat is the most basic design available. Most new manual thermostats are digital nowadays, though it’s not impossible to find old-fashioned dial thermostats. The temperature can only be changed when someone uses the thermostat itself, so it’s only a good option for spaces where there’s usually someone home. Manual thermostats are cheap, often around $30.

Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat allows you to set heating and cooling schedules based on when you’re out of the house or sleeping, but you can only change the programming when you’re physically using the thermostat. The programming feature makes it easier to conserve energy on HVAC use. They’re often slightly more expensive than manual thermostats, but easy to find at $60 or less.

Smart Thermostat

The key feature of smart thermostats is that they’re connected to the Internet, so they can be controlled from anywhere using a smartphone. Features vary from model to model, but many smart thermostats allow for fine-tuned programming with user-friendly smartphone apps. Most range in price from $100 to $200.

Will a Smart Thermostat Work in Your Home?

If you’re ready to upgrade to a smart thermostat, there are a couple of factors to consider. First, you’ll need a wireless internet connection in your home to use most smart thermostat features. If you’re not already paying for an internet connection, that’s an additional cost to factor into the total upgrade price.

Second, you should check the specifications of the smart thermostat you’re considering to make sure it works with your heating and cooling system. It’s true that most central HVAC systems work nicely with most smart thermostat models, but if you have a heat pump, radiator heating, radiant floor heating or another type of system, you may find that certain thermostat models have compatibility exceptions.

How to Choose a Thermostat for Your Home | Bounce Energy Blog

Why Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat?

Smart thermostats cost more upfront, but if you’re currently using a manual thermostat, this is an upgrade that can pay for itself. Models like the Hive Active Thermostat make it easier than ever to stay comfortable while providing a convenient way to using less energy.

In addition to the ease and convenience of programming your thermostat by smartphone, the Hive Active Thermostat has features like Quick Heat and Quick Cool that allow you to request a temporary boost in heating or air conditioning without the need to manually change the temperature back later. You can also program these features to activate automatically when your smartphone comes within a certain distance of your home, such as when you’re coming home from work.

The Hive Active Thermostat communicates with other smart devices to save you even more on energy. For example, if you connect a fan to a Hive Active Plug, you can control both your thermostat and your fan from anywhere. You can let the fan keep you cool while turning your thermostat a little higher, allowing you to save money without even getting off the couch.

Extras like Hive’s motion sensors and window and door sensors can also become a part of your heating and cooling routine. By programming your climate control to kick on when you walk through the door or setting the fans to activate automatically when you’re in the room, you can conserve energy without even thinking about it. Compatibility with voice-activated devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant add another layer of convenience.

Even if your manual thermostat has never let you down, the user-friendly interface and savings potential of a smart thermostat are reasons enough to consider a switch.

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