In today’s high-tech society, we’re constantly inundated with electronic devices in all aspects of our lives. Whether you’re at home, work, or in between, you probably depend upon your electronics to keep your lifestyle going along swimmingly.
The thermostat is one device that is routinely overlooked and forgotten, but it has been a staple of American homes for decades. This modest piece of equipment is the device that is responsible for keeping you and your loved ones cooled during July and warmed during January.
This is a temperature-sensitive switch that allows you to control the use of your heating and cooling units. This device is able to be set to a particular temperature, and when it senses its surroundings become hotter or colder than its current setting, it switches “on” to heat or cool your space to your desired temperature.
There are five main types of thermostats:
Electromechanical thermostats(EM) are typically the easiest thermostat to own and operate. They contain manual controls such sliding tabs that allow you to make adjustments to your temperature settings. If you’re looking for a traditional device that can be easily operated, this is a great choice.
Digital thermostats are another common type of device homeowners use. These thermostats use LCD and LED displays along with buttons used for data entry. With this option, you will be able to experience a wide variety of flexibilities, options, and customizations. They’re also compatible with most HVAC systems. Using precise temperature control and custom scheduling, this is a great option if your schedule varies and you’re trying to perfect your temperatures at all given times.
Hybrid thermostats combine the capabilities of electromechanical and digital thermostats. With digital controls and manual knobs, you’ll be able to enjoy the ease of use an EM thermostat provides while also enjoying the customization of its digital counterpart.
Mainly used in commercial settings,occupancy thermostats allow you to maintain a setback temperature until an occupant presses its button to activate heating or cooling. For a preset time, it goes into “comfort mode” and heats/cools your space until returning to its setback temperature. This type of thermostat is best used for a setting that stays unoccupied for long periods of time.
Light sensing heat thermostatsuse a preset lighting level that is predetermined by the owner of the device. This thermostat is able to sense when the lighting level in the room has been dimmed or shut off entirely. Once its sensor picks up on the change in lighting, the device’s photocell (a component found in many automated lighting devices) computes that the room is unoccupied and allows the temperature to fall or rise beyond its predetermined setting. Once the room’s lighting level increases back to normal, the temperature reverts back to its “comfort mode”. These units are popular to due their independence from batteries and programming. Mostly used in office spaces and other commercial environments, they’re common in places where occupancy determines lighting, cooling, and heating requirements.
The location of your thermostat is much more important than many people think. Where you decide to mount this device can have a drastic effect on its performance, efficiency, and accuracy.
"Ghost readings" can happen when the homeowner fails to precisely mount their thermostat in the best area in their residence. Have you placed your thermostat in an area containing direct sunlight, windows, skylights, drafts, and doorways? If so, you most likely are not getting the most accurate reading when assessing your indoor temperature.
Following the manufacturer’s instructions will usually guide you towards the best place in your home for your thermostat.
The best thermostat for you all depends on your lifestyle and your desired temperature levels. Automatic and programmable thermostats help you save energy while maintaining your convenience and hands-off approach to your temperature settings, but their manual counterparts can be just as effective if the user is diligently regulating its settings.