Walk into any home improvement store in LA, and you’ll see a variety of thermostats on display. Thermostats fall into one of a few categories:
Contact – A manual thermostat is the most simple of the bunch. If you have a thermostat that contains mercury or only has printed numbers and labels, then you have a basic contact thermostat. This device sends simple on and off signals to your heater and air conditioner.
Digital – A digital thermostat is very similar to a contact thermostat. The main difference is that there is a digital display on the device. Instead of a dial or slider to set the temperature setpoint, there are usually buttons to move the setpoint up and down. Sometimes, a digital thermostat will display other information, like the current temperature in the space.
Programmable – A programmable thermostat allows the homeowner to set a schedule for the heating and cooling system. For example, if you are at work Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm, you can set a programmable thermostat to change the temperature automatically at those times.
Smart – A smart or connected thermostat is typically one that is connected to the internet via WiFi. With a smart thermostat, you do not need to be standing in your hallway to change settings. You can monitor and adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere in the world – from your living room to your vacation home.
Wireless – Some smart thermostats are wireless , which means there is no physical connection between the thermostat and the heating and cooling equipment. A significant benefit to a wireless thermostat is that it can mount to any wall in your home. That can be helpful if your thermostat is currently near kids’ bedrooms, or if a renovation has left your thermostat’s previous home in the dust.