Air Conditioning Thermostats

Trane ThermostatToday’s modern thermostat often serves as the command center for regulating a building’s temperature, energy consumption and humidity level. Units are available in configurations ranging from simple mechanical designs to complete programmable varieties. In many instances, a new thermostat can even add to the attractiveness of a room’s décor.

Selecting a Thermostat

There are two basic thermostat platforms that include programmable and manual models. Manual thermostats are more popular with consumers who want simplicity and convenience. A programmable thermostat is better suited for those who want more control to be able to regulate indoor temperatures while potentially lowering annual heating and cooling costs.

Manual Operation

A manual thermostat is the least expensive option for controlling a furnace or air conditioner. Essential functions include manual or automatic mode switching and basic temperature control. These devices are easy to operate and can be purchased in single or two-stage configurations. Most displays are digital, and some models are back lit for nighttime temperature reading.

Programmable Operation

Employing advanced microprocessor technology, a programmable thermostat automatically adjusts the temperature setting to maximize energy savings. When used correctly, a programmable thermostat can save up to 30 percent on monthly heating and cooling costs.

For air conditioning, the setting is raised when the home is unoccupied, which will result in fewer equipment cycles. Later in the day, the temperature is gradually lowered until it reaches an optimal setting, usually right before the first occupant arrives home. Most programmable models include an auto-changeover function that controls equipment operation by internally switching the cooling and heating mode as the seasons begin to change.

Sales of programmable models have suffered from the perception that they are too complex and difficult to operate. While older units can be cumbersome and confusing, newer models include a large touch screen, remote access and adaptive intelligence, which makes the programming experience much simpler.

Understanding Thermostat Compatibility

A thermostat is usually replaced due to advanced age or obsolescence. Homeowners are encouraged to hire a licensed HVAC contractor before making any changes since thermostats are system specific.

  • One-Stage Cool and Heat: A single-stage thermostat is designed for package units and split systems that operate at a constant output level. This includes most conventional furnaces and air conditioners.
  • Two-Stage or Multi-Stage: For heating and cooling equipment that automatically adjusts output capacity to match the existing load, a two-stage or multi-stage thermostat is appropriate. Heat pumps equipped with a supplemental heat strip also require a two-stage thermostat.
  • 24mV Controls: A 24mV thermostat is usually installed in modular cooling and heating units or appropriately equipped fireplaces.

Locating the Thermostat

A thermostat should be always positioned away from windows and heat-generating appliances. A central interior wall location about five feet off the floor is ideal. In homes that have uneven temperatures in different rooms, purchasing a model with the capacity to add remote sensors may be a worthwhile investment.

Choosing the Best Thermostat

Replacing your thermostat can be a complicated process. The professionals at P & M Air Conditioning and Heating offer a wide variety of thermostat options, and every device we install is guaranteed to work properly with your equipment. Call one of our comfort specialists to learn more about the benefits of installing a modern, attractive digital thermostat.