Manual, Programmable or Smart Thermostats: Which is the Best for Your Home?

Family sitting on the couch

There are many types of thermostats available in the market, including manual dial-based, programmable thermostats, and smart thermostats, each providing different benefits.

The thermostat is an integral part of the heating system, tasked with keeping the temperature in the house at a level set by the homeowner. The furnace will automatically turn off when this temperature is reached, helping to reduce the consumption of energy and avoid unwanted overheating. The thermostat also impacts the overall energy bills, as it can help save on heating costs during the winter. It’s important for you to review and carefully consider each option before installing a thermostat in your home.

Let’s run through the most important advantages of each type of thermostat.

Manual thermostats: Control at your fingertips

Many homes in Canada are still well-served by mercury-based thermostats that feature a manual dial. To change the desired temperature, you can simply turn it to the appropriate notch. While generally effective for simple heat management, these thermostats can be imprecise and inconvenient to use, which is why switching to a more advanced model may be a good idea that could result in significant savings.

Programmable thermostats: No need for reminders

The digital programmable thermostat can regulate the heat production in your home based on a predetermined schedule. For example, these thermostats can be instructed to cool down the house a bit when nobody is there to ensure heat isn’t wasted on an empty home, or to start warming it up one hour before everyone gets up on a cool winter morning. Programmable thermostats are more efficient than a manual thermostat, however the range of options offered can be limiting for some.

Smart thermostats: Monitoring your environment

If you are interested in maximum control over the temperature of your home, you could consider investing in a smart thermostat. This electronic device is initially fed with information about your home and its geographic location, which allows it to calculate the weather patterns and determine your heating needs.

How to choose the right type?

Upgrading your thermostat is a great way to maximize your furnace efficiency that can result in a reduction in your heating bills, so you should think about this move if you still own a manual or older programmable model. You will likely see a significant difference if you live in a large house and see your heating bills rise during the fall and winter months. Smart thermostats are increasing in popularity as homeowners are seeing the significant benefits in control and energy savings.

See if you qualify for a thermostat rebate.