How Do I Know What Kind of Thermostat I Have?

The thermostat is not simply the dial to choose your desired indoor temperature. As technology advances for HVAC systems, two newer thermostats offer a way to control your home’s heating and cooling system and help you save on energy consumption. First you need to know what thermostat you currently have and then learn how Redman Services can help upgrade to a thermostat to save on energy bills.

What Are the Different Types of Thermostats?

There are three types of thermostats used in home HVAC systems: manual thermostats, programmable thermostats, and smart thermostats. The features of each type of thermostat help you determine which thermostat you currently have installed in your home.  There are many manufacturers and design variations within each type. Let’s explore the key features, benefits, and drawbacks of each thermostat type.

Manual Thermostats

Manual thermostats allow you to turn the HVAC system on and select the temperature. The classic manual thermostats feature dials to manually adjust the temperature, fan, and heating/cooling mode. Newer electronic thermostats feature a digital display and push pad controls.

The key benefit of manual thermostats is you have complete control of your HVAC system in a central location. This design worked for decades and is a trusted method for controlling the heating systems and cooling systems in your home.


The drawback is these thermostats is that they need to have the home’s temperature set manually. So if you’re at the office and no one is home, you’re wasting energy by heating or cooling an empty house. You could turn down the thermostat before you leave for work, but you may come home to an uncomfortable house. Then by the time you set a new temperature for your home, it may take a while before the air reaches the set temperature. 

Programmable Thermostats

Programmable thermostats can also be manually adjusted, but the key benefit of programmable thermostats is setting a schedule. You can program the thermostat to adjust indoor temperatures when you are home or away from the house. This feature makes programmable thermostats more energy efficient. By scheduling the air conditioner or furnace to run less when you are gone, you use less energy and save on energy bills without much effort.

The drawback to programmable thermostats is you have to set the program using the thermostat. The best programmable thermostats offer lots of features but you have to make any adjustments at the thermostat. You may need to consult your thermostat’s manual to learn how to set a schedule. 

Smart Thermostats/WIFI Thermostat

The latest evolution in thermostat technology are smart thermostats. These thermostats help to automate your home using WIFI and applications downloaded to your smartphone. Within the app you are able to adjust temperature settings and set up programs to suit your schedule. Many smart thermostats include a geofence feature for greater energy efficiency. This feature knows when you are away from your home and adjusts the temperature settings accordingly.

The biggest benefit of smart thermostats is energy savings with little effort on your part. The thermostat learns to adjust the temperature when you leave the home and restores your desired temperature as you come home. Some even detect when people are moving within the home so a family isn’t tethered by a single device. Especially, if your living habits don’t follow an exact routine, a smart thermostat is a wise investment. Since you can always adjust the thermostat for the app, you can always monitor your home’s temperature and get alerts when someone has adjusted the thermostat without permission. You can also control the thermostat from virtually anywhere, so if you forgot to turn down the temperature while you’re on vacation, you can do so easily from your phone. 

The drawback of smart thermostats is Wi-Fi and cost. If your home doesn’t have Wi-Fi, these thermostats do not work. Even though smart models cost a bit more, this new thermostat design is likely to save you considerably on energy bills.

When to Install a New Thermostat?

Improving energy usage and lowering bills is always a good idea. Any thermostat that is not functioning well or is older than 5-10 years may be worth replacing. Older thermostats may not work efficiently and lose calibration over time. Upgrading to a programmable thermostat or adding a smart thermostat to your internet connection will quickly lower your energy usage.

Talk to Redman Services About Thermostat Installation

Contacting Redman Services to explore the types of thermostats to find the right thermostat for your home is a great place to start. Saving on heating and cooling your home is important to all of our customers. Our team of technicians can assess the condition of your thermostat and provide insight into the best option for your home. Give us a call or contact us to learn more about thermostats.