Types of Thermostats (What’s Best for You?)

There are so many types of thermostats on the market today, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Which one is the right one for you? Different types of thermostats offer varying functionality and features to enhance user convenience as well as HVAC system efficiency. 

To find the right choice for your household among all the different types of thermostats, our knowledgeable HVAC technicians are here to assist you. 

It’s important to get the right thermostat for your needs and energy goals, but to do that, it must be compatible with your HVAC system. Some are more compatible with others, especially the more sophisticated they become. Therefore, we strongly suggest a consultation with an HVAC professional. 

Whether your home uses a single-speed or variable speed system, ductless with central air, your HVAC professional will provide the best recommendation for the greatest comfort and ease of use. Plus, he or she is happy to install it and teach you how to use it. Let’s review the various generations of thermostats and what they can do. 

Types of Thermostats Used in Homes

The types of thermostats available range from the most basic of models to those with all the bells and whistles. While there are many different models to select from in each category, before starting your search you need to know about the types of thermostats that are options for your Montgomery home.


round mercury thermostat manual style | Types of thermostats
Old Dial Thermostat: 1953 model, which used mercury components. Image credit: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Manual thermostats are the most basic types of thermostats around. Users adjust home temperatures at the thermostat and visit it again when a heating or cooling adjustment is needed. 

Older manual thermostats include those retro dials attached to the wall and used mercury, which is harmful to the environment if not properly recycled. 

Many newer model manual thermostats do not contain mercury, and look like a simple, small box on your wall.

Programmable Thermostats

Programmable thermostats have gained great popularity over the last 20 or so years as an affordable way to cut energy consumption in the home. These thermostats allow homeowners to set temperature adjustments throughout the day, based on the home’s occupancy, personal preferences, and energy-efficient settings for the season. 

Basic programmable models feature a digital display screen and push buttons, while advanced models have options like touchscreen and customizable displays.

digital programmable thermostat | types of thermostats | Hans Heating and Air
Basic Digital Programmable Thermostat Image credit: Energy.gov

Programmable thermostats offer varying flexibility for temperature schedules throughout the week, depending on the model. The right option for your Montgomery household typically depends on the schedules your household follows throughout the week.

  • Weekly models allow you to program settings carried out the same way for all seven days.
  • 5-2 thermostats allow you to set one set of programs for weekdays, and another set for weekends.
  • 5-1-1 models allow you to schedule programs for all weekdays alike, as well as different settings for both Saturdays and Sundays.
  • 7-day thermostats allow you to set different temperature schedules for every day of the week.

WiFi Thermostats

WiFi thermostats are like programmable thermostats in that they allow users to set different temperature schedules specific for times and days throughout the week. The difference is they are connected to your home’s WiFi network, which allows for expanded capabilities. 

These thermostats allow users to connect with their HVAC systems while away from home, make adjustments to HVAC system use, and may offer expanded features like integrated weather displays and energy consumption data. 

Take advantage of the remote access and adjust your home’s temperature whether you’re stuck at the airport or already tucked into bed. 

Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats are the latest in thermostat trends. They go above and beyond the functionality that other thermostats offer. After a couple of weeks of manual programming, the thermostat “learns” your household routines. 

Depending on the model, it may simply “remember” that on Thursday nights, no one arrives home until 9 p.m. or it may even use sensors to detect occupancy and self-adjust.  

The thermostat connects via WiFi, learns when you leave and are about to return, and considers outdoor conditions as well as energy efficiency to choose settings that help you save money while your home stays comfortable. 

Different models offer integration with various smart home hubs, voice control, system maintenance and repair alerts, and other high-tech features.

various smart thermostats | Types of thermostats | Hans Heating and Air
Image credit: Energy.gov

Explore Types of Thermostats with Hans’ Help

When you need to select between various types of thermostats, it’s best to consult an HVAC professional. Your thermostat needs to be easy for you to use, help you save money on heating and cooling costs, and most importantly, be compatible with your home’s HVAC system.

The HVAC professionals of Hans Heating and Air are happy to walk you through the types of thermostats available and help you make the right selection for your home. We install new thermostats and help you become familiar with their features and how they work. 

Don’t be shy about asking questions! We won’t leave until you’re comfortable with using your new thermostat. That way, you’ll get the most value from it. Upgrade that old thermostat and make a move toward better comfort and energy efficiency – call Hans today!

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