What Does a Thermostat Do?

What Does a Thermostat Do?

Posted by
Ed Miller on Mon, Feb 18, 2013

Built as a temperature-sensitive switch, a thermostat for the home will automatically turn the air conditioning and heating system on and off to maintain a level of quality air in the home’s interior. The functionality of the thermostat varies between units. Some thermostats are highly sophisticated with fully programmable adjustments that create high-efficiency operation and complete functionality. Other manual thermostat units simply turn the A/C unit on and off at a single pre-set temperature.

Selecting the Best Thermostat

Selecting the best thermostat for your home can be simplified by determining the type of HVAC system you have installed in the house. Single stage heating and cooling systems will have an air conditioner with an installed furnace that runs on gas or electric. Other available HVAC systems include heat pumps (with or without a pre-installed heat strip), and a line voltage heating system (radiant heat, electric baseboards). Establishing the type of HVAC unit or heating system you have installed in your home will help determine the best choice of thermostat to meet the requirements of your specific unit.

Thermostat Features

Many programmable thermostats come with variable features that are critical to maintaining the comfort levels in your home. Based on the type of heating or cooling system you have in your house, a programmable thermostat might help you regulate specific functionalities of the system. The features of programmable thermostats include:

Automatic Cool/Heat Switching – With automatic switching, the thermostat can mechanically detect whether the unit should be in cooling or heating mode.

Air Circulation Fan Mode – Using an air circulation fan mode adjustment allows the air to freely circulate to help eliminate the home’s stagnant air.

LCD Touchscreen – Having the ability to monitor the entire functionality of the A/C unit using a LCD touchscreen makes the operation of the system extremely simple.

Vacation Hold – Using the vacation hold when away from the house for extended periods of time will reduce energy consumption. With programmable options, the thermostat can be pre-set to return the home to normal temperature just before the homeowner’s return.

Set Point Limits – Pre-determined set point limits maintain the air quality temperature within a specific range.

Backlighting – The LCD touchscreen backlighting allows for easy reading when dark.

Keypad Locks – The lockout for the keypad will permit only pre-determined individuals the ability to change the settings on the thermostat.

With a wide variety of programmable thermostat brands available, it is critical to have them installed by a licensed HVAC professional to ensure proper operation.




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