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How to Choose the Best Thermostat for Your Home

Choosing a properly sized HVAC system isn’t enough for keeping your home comfortable. Your air conditioning contractor should also recommend the most suitable thermostats. There are now many types. Knowing the factors to consider will help you compare different products. A programmable or smart thermostat has many advantages, but finding the best thermostat requires identifying one that meets your needs; to do that, you must look at factors such as:


Manual thermostats go for just a few dollars but, with the latest smart units, expect to spend in the hundreds. Programmable electronic thermostats are in the mid-range when it comes to pricing. Not all smart thermostats work with every type of HVAC system. Do your research, or you could end up wasting money. The right installation can result in energy savings, which translates to lower utility bills.


closeup of a digital, programmable thermostat

The room temperature should be close to what you set it to. Manual thermostats aren’t very accurate. Programmable devices allow you to create a heating and cooling schedule while controlling the setpoint. You can even set the temperature based on when you’re home or if you plan to be away or on vacation. Smart thermostats can track your temperature preferences and create a schedule automatically; some models use sensors to monitor room temperature and provide balanced heating and cooling.


If integration with devices such as virtual assistants (Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, etc.) is important, then go with a smart thermostat. It lets you set the temperature by voice without having to get up to make adjustments. Some models can be controlled with a smartphone app. A wireless setup can save you hassles if the unit supports it. If any complex wiring is required, hire a qualified electrician to install the device properly and safely.


A thermostat must be compatible with the voltage requirements of your HVAC system. It must also fit on an interior wall, preferably where the old unit was to avoid complex rewiring. The number of heating stages your A/C and heating system has will influence compatibility as well. Whether you have a single-stage, two-stage, or variable-speed system, a thermostat must support it. When choosing a replacement thermostat, consult with an air conditioning contractor to determine the most compatible solution.


Technician repairing digital heating and cooling thermostat

Some newer thermostats have different wiring requirements than older models. Non-connected, programmable thermostats with as few as two low-voltage wires are common in older homes. Modern ones often require a C-wire to power displays, Wi-Fi, and other features. If you don’t have a C-wire, you can get a smart thermostat with a special power adapter or power extender, buy a third-party adapter, or choose a model that doesn’t require one. An electrician can professionally install a C-wire for you.

Contact Your Texas Air Conditioning Contractor

If you’re unsure of how to choose a smart thermostat or another model, contact Christianson Air Conditioning and Plumbing at 512-246-5400. Our company is trusted for HVAC/plumbing installation, repairs, maintenance, and other essential services in Austin, San Antonio, and surrounding areas.

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