How to Buy a Thermostat: A Short Guide
Advancements in the world of thermostats are not as quick or often as compared to smartphone and computers. However, the advent of smart thermostats has brought about notable and promising changes in the industry. This is a short guide to purchasing a new thermostat for your Bay Area home or business.
Programmable vs. Smart Thermostats
Programmable thermostats cannot be connected to the internet and require manual setting of temperature. Smart thermostats connect to the internet and can give you full control of temperature setting through your smartphone.
Determine Your Interests
You need to decide whether you want a smart thermostat or a non-connected programmable thermostat. The latter will be enough if all you need is simple programming. They are also much more affordable. However, if you are interested in using an app or your voice to control the thermostat, you should choose a smart thermostat.
These thermostats have powerful AI that learns family habits and adjusts temperature accordingly. You can narrow your choices by identifying the smart features you need, such as geofencing. Other purchase considerations include the size, style, color, and price.
2. Check Your HVAC System
You would need to consider the make and model of your HVAC system to purchase a smart thermostat. While the majority of models work in tandem, there are a few HVAC systems that won’t support certain smart thermostats.
For instance, the Nest Learning Thermostat supports two-stage heat pump systems while the Nest Thermostat E does not. You may need separate thermostats if you have separate heating and cooling systems in your house. You would need separate thermostats for each zone of cooling and heating as well.
3. Check the Wiring
The next step is to open the existing thermostat and check the kind of wiring inside it. Most programmable and non-connected thermostats can work with two low-voltage wires. This is highly common in older heating systems. However, the newer thermostats will need a C-wire or a common wire.
The C-wire is useful in providing continuous power for WiFi, displays and other features. You should have an HVAC technician check the wiring if you are not too sure about it. There are a few options that can help you install a smart thermostat without a C-wire. For instance, you can:
Choose a thermostat with a power extender or power adapter that allows the adding of a C-wire to the system
Purchase and install an add-a-wire adapter
Choose a model that doesn’t require C-wire but offers all the other features. There are several systems that don’t require C-wire since they have an internal battery which can charge whenever the system runs.
Have a professional install a C-wire for your needs
4. Consider the Aesthetics of Your Home
You probably want your thermostat to look to good, especially when you consider the fact that the unit will remain on your wall for a good many years. There are a wide range of shapes and styles to choose from, especially in the case of smart thermostats. You can go for a classic, all-round look or get a more futuristic looking rounded-square style. There are a few thermostats that offer a boxy, modern look appearance with large displays. These are more conventional in appearance.