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How Do I Choose the Best Non-Programmable Thermostat?

A programmable thermostat may help reduce heating costs.
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  • Written By: Emily Espinoza
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 20 June 2014
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To choose the best non-programmable thermostat, you should consider what type of controls you want it to have, how many stages, what type of power you want to use, and how you would like the device to look. Since a non-programmable thermostat does not keep programmed information, the controls are simpler than those found on programmable versions, but the thermostats still come with several options. How many stages your thermostat can handle and what power source it uses both determine how compatible it is with your system and are important factors in your decision. The last thing to consider is how the thermostat actually looks. Since thermostats are visibly mounted on the wall in most homes, pick one that blends in with your decor and looks pleasing to you.

The two main categories of non-programmable thermostat are electronic and mechanical. An electronic thermostat usually has a digital display and can either have a touch screen, for access to the controls or physical buttons that you must press to change the settings. A mechanical non-programmable thermostat sometimes has a dial or line with numbers printed around or along it where the temperature is displayed. The temperature setting is adjusted with a similar number line or dial and is indicated with a separate marker. An electronic version does have a more modern feel, but many consumers are convinced of the reliability and accuracy of mechanical models.

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Stages, on a non-programmable thermostat, refers to how many systems it can control, such as heating and cooling, so it is important that you get the right kind for the system you have. A single stage thermostat is most likely designed to control a heating-only system, while a double or dual stage device will control both heating and cooling. Most thermostats are hardwired into the system that they run and draw power from it, but they can also come with a battery. In some models, the battery serves only as a backup in case the thermostat loses power, but it may be available as the main source of power as well.

Non-programmable thermostats are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. Some are very plain and traditional looking while others have been given a more modern look. Think about the style of the room where you will install your thermostat, and consider how visible your non-programmable thermostat will be. If you are putting it in a room where it will be very visible, it might be worth it to make sure that you pick one that blends well with the existing decor. Another thing to think about is what size and shape the previous thermostat was, as they sometimes leave behind marks on the wall that will be visible if the new thermostat is smaller or a different shape than the previous one.

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