What is a Thermostat
The room thermostat is ideal for fine adjustment of indoor climate. The principle of thermostat operation is very simple: you set the desired indoor air temperature and the controller turns the HVAC or heat pump system equipment on. The equipment keeps running until the indoor temperature reaches the value set. Thus, when the indoor air temperature drops below the set value, the thermostat automatically turns on the heating system. It can also work the other way: when the room air temperature exceeds the preset value the thermostat activates the cooling system, so the indoor air temperature is kept at a comfortable level in summer.
If you are looking for a device that provides local heating of small enclosures you should see our space heaters review.
What Features to Compare
When purchasing a thermostat device, first of all, one should pay attention to such important device parameter as thermostat Control type. It is this feature that makes it possible to characterize the approach to thermostat's temperature control and, most importantly, ease of use and apprehensibility of the device operation. By control type, the thermostats can be divided into the ones with a manual and the ones with an automatic control. With that the home thermostats furnished with analog control, which is implemented via either dials or mechanical buttons accompanied by simple indicators or LEDs, are controlled manually. Electronic or digital thermostat control in its turn implies the availability of menu buttons (sensor or mechanical) and a display (touchscreen) for critical information output. In addition the electronic type of thermostat control opens the wide possibilities of digital thermostat remote control: you can easily control your home thermostat via an internet Wi-Fi connection from literally any location using a PC, laptop or a smartphone. This clearly shows the advantage of the electronic control type over the analog one.
Having determined the thermostat control type, you should pay attention to such an important feature as HVAC compatibility and power supply. Information about HVAC compatibility and power supply gives you an idea of what house systems you will be able to control with a specific thermostat. Modern thermostats are designed to control the wide variety of utilities, such as heating, cooling systems, including gas, electric, forced air supply systems of low and high-voltage type. These systems are controlled by high or low voltage power, thus, the compatibility with low-voltage or high-voltage HVAC systems determines the device applicability to the HVAC equipment installed in your house.
The third consumer-wise important feature concerning the digital thermostats is the Programming type. By programming type, the thermostats can be divided into non-programmable, user-programmable and self-programmable devices. Non-programmable thermostats have very few configurable parameters such as indoor air temperature or water supply temperature. The user sets the value of such a parameter and the thermostat maintains the temperature value set by operating HVAC equipment regardless of the date, time, and season. User-programmable thermostats are more flexible in operation. Digital thermostats also can be self-programmable: they can automatically adjust and reconfigure the values of parameters controlled based on the data, acquired from the external sensors, i.e. auto-adjust the desired temperature considering the season.