The importance of a good thermostat to your comfort and the performance of your heating system cannot be understated. Traditional bi-metal “knob” style thermostats are simple and durable, but leave much to be desired when it comes to your comfort.
- Newer digital thermostats offer much better temperature accuracy, adapting to specific types of heaters to optimize performance and minimize swings in temperature.
The first step up from an analog knob-style thermostat is the digital non-programmable type.
These offer simple, intuitive operation with great improvements in temperature accuracy and stability. Manufacturers of knob-style thermostats often don’t mark them with temperature settings, because they know the device simply isn’t accurate enough to hold the room temperature at the marked setting. Digital thermostats constantly read the room temperature with a typical accuracy of +/- 0.2 degrees. They typically have the ability to turn the heater on and off on a timed cycle with duration designed to hold the temperature steady, rather than allowing the room to get too cold or hot before turning the heat on or off. Digital non-programmable thermostats save energy by allowing you to set the precise temperature for your comfort, rather than setting the thermostat higher to avoid the cold periods where a traditional analog thermostat would allow the temperature to drop before turning the heater back on.
Building on the improvements of the basic digital thermostat, a programmable model allows you to save even more energy by automatically setting it to a cooler temperature while you’re sleeping or away.
These are most useful if you like a colder room while you’re asleep, or when you have a regular schedule. Rather than wasting energy keeping a space warm when you’re not using it, the programmable model turns the heat down every day and night so you don’t have to remember to do it manually. Once you have the schedule set, you never need to touch the thermostat again until your schedule changes. If you only want a temporary boost, you can manually turn up the heat and the thermostat will automatically revert back to the program at the next schedule time.
Smart thermostats such as the Nest Learning Thermostat were some of the first successful smart home technologies.
Comfort is a very personal thing, and the best controls are adaptable and allow fine tuning. In the Northwest, we typically spend 60% of our energy bills on space heating, which means that maintaining comfort while eliminating wasted heat can produce significant savings. Smart thermostats endeavor to provide the best comfort at the lowest energy cost, and allow entirely new features such as voice control and remote control via a mobile device. Frederickson Electric has experience with many different models of smart thermostats, and can help pick the right solution for your needs.