It’s called a thermostat.
It is designed to basically do just one thing; turn on and off your heating and cooling system when your house gets to a pre-selected temperature. Some thermostats are simple to use, others may require some sort of degree, or at the very least, the assistance of your resident pre-teen to explain to you how it works.
There are many brands and hundreds of different models. One of the most widely used
thermostats for many years has been the round, gold, Honeywell Model T87F. This popular model is simple, but does not allow for any programming related to different time periods (known as set back).
New energy codes (Title 24) require that when a furnace is replaced, or a new furnace or complete system installed; a set back, programmable thermostat, must be installed to promote energy savings.
New programmable thermostats have many features which may include; vacation mode, hold feature, backlit display, large readouts, and keypad lockout. Other features are outdoor temperature readings, humidity control, indoor fan programming, and they may also allow you to control the temperatures for several different time periods each day. Some no longer require batteries, and will still retain the program, so that you do not need to reprogram them in the event of a power outage. Wireless remote control models are even available!
There are so many brands and models available, that any homeowner can easily become confused as to which one is the right choice for their system. My suggestion, as always, is to select a quality brand from a reputable heating and air conditioning contractor, and have them install it for you. Sure, you can go to the local big box warehouse store, purchase a new thermostat for less. But beware: These models may be “de-featured”, meaning that they do not have some of the features of a quality thermostat purchased from a contractor. You can even attempt to install the thermostat yourself. However, don’t expect expert advice from the employees at the large chain stores. Although the installation may appear to be simple at first, I know of countless service calls that were generated on Monday mornings after a well-intentioned homeowner attempted to replace their own thermostat the previous weekend.
A good quality thermostat will last for many years. The fact is, a cheaper one that may have been installed previously, will probably need to be replaced before long. My recommendation is; Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish.
If you would like to learn more about thermostats, join us at our next Homeowners Workshop. If you are interested in attending, please call (818) 886-2600 to make a reservation. There is no cost to attend, so join us for a cup of coffee and some useful information.