28 Jul. 20

Types of Thermostats: Which is Best for Your Toronto Home?

There are different types of thermostats, each one a perfect fit based on the needs of your home. Thermostats are devices that work hand in hand with HVAC systems in homes in Toronto and all over the world. 

They work to keep homes in comfortable, ambient temperatures. In this article, you’ll learn the types of thermostats, what they are, what they do, and how they work.

What are Thermostats?

Toronto, being a major Canadian City, boasts of impressive affluence and luxury. Her homes are some of the most expensive in and around Canada. Like you would expect, most of these homes run a remarkable HVAC system.

Robin to Batman. That’s how best to think of thermostats and HVAC systems. The latter can work without the former. However, it’s functionality will be disorganized and medieval.

Thermostats are ubiquitous household devices in this part of the world. They function to regulate temperature through HVAC systems. Through several mechanisms, they change and maintain home temperatures depending on how they detect them. We’ll soon discuss these methods.

There are several types of thermostats. Each of these types has its peculiar features. Broad as this spectrum may be, they all share an essential function – temperature regulation. 

The Major Types of Thermostats

Many types of thermostats exist in the market. Nonetheless, each of them exists in only one of these four major classes:

  • Non-Programmable Thermostats
  • Programmable Thermostats
  • Wi-Fi Thermostats
  • Smart Thermostats

This arrangement is in the order of increased cost, function and sophistication. Let’s get right into it.

Non-Programmable Thermostats

When you think of the Stone Age in the world of thermostats, this is it. They were the very first types of thermostats in existence. Despite the remarkable improvements in recent developments, these thermostats are still around. 

A non-programmable thermostat is simple. With this thermostat, a manual temperature setting is about the best you’re going to get. There’s no room for any automatic changes in temperature at specific times of the day. 

If you’re like many people, you love warmer temperatures in the morning and cooler ones at noon. With a non-programmable thermostat, you must get up and make the changes yourself. 

A typical non-programmable thermostat has the following obvious features:

  • An LED display.
  • Up and down buttons to set temperature.
  • A separate button to switch between heating and cooling functions.

Since they’re not automated, they increase energy bills if left on before leaving home. Also, when you’re back home and switch it on, you may have to wait for a while before it cools or heats your house. Therefore, this type of thermostat works best for folks in Toronto who rarely stay away from their homes.

Programmable Thermostats

A programmable thermostat brings more ease into your life. Think of it as the opposite of what a non-programmable thermostat is. With a programmable thermostat, say goodbye to incessant manual adjustments. 

Set your thermostat at the beginning of the day/week as you please and never revisit it! If you like a frosty atmosphere within your home by exactly noon, preset your thermostat. 

Programmable thermostats can change temperatures up to four times in only one day. Each offers a different temperature setting for the morning, afternoon and night, and a bonus!

Here are some of the common programs people run on their programmable thermostats:

  • The 7-day program: Choose a different temperature setting for each day of the week. It is great for people with busy schedules that have them dashing in and out of the house each day. It is, thus the most flexible program.
  • The 5-1-1 program. It allows you to run the same temperature for the five working days in a week. On Saturdays and Sundays, the temperature changes.
  • The 5-2 program. Like the 5-1-1- program, with this one, one temperature setting spans five days in the week. Another is set for the weekends.
  • 1-week program: With this program, you can run the same temperature on all days of the week.

If, for instance, you’re only home on the weekends, the 5-1-1 or 5-2 program is best for you. This way, anytime you’re away, it keeps your home at an okay temperature. 

Also, your furnace won’t work too hard (in the winter) on these days. Hence, there’ll be a significant decrease in repair and energy bills.

Wi-Fi Thermostats

This, right here, is one of the most expensive thermostats in the Canadian market. It makes programmable thermometers feel as ordinary as ordinary gets.

Here’s the most significant highlight of Wi-Fi thermostats. This type of thermostat can connect to a wireless internet connection. It’s almost like they have a remote-control feature, and this is amazing. 

Say you’ll soon be leaving your office for home, and you want a ‘cool’ welcome. You can set the temperature you want before you get home. If you are wondering which thermostat is best for your Toronto home, this functionality is always a great fit. 

Wireless thermostats combine the functions of programmable types of thermostats. However, they have an edge. With this type of thermostat, it’s possible to override a before-programmed temperature setting. With the cheap living they encourage, you can conserve up to $50 on rather outrageous utility bills.

Many Wi-Fi thermostats are touchscreen. This singular feature increases calibration and user-friendliness. They are so efficient, some of them track the indoor and outdoor temperatures.

Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats have everything you want in a thermostat; and a whole lot more. They are, in every sense, the ultra-modern device to match your modern home. 

Like a human, the smart thermostat learns your behavioural patterns. 

  • When do you get off work?
  • How do you like the temperature in the evenings?
  • What time do you go to bed?
  • What are your general temperature preferences?

Once you program it yourself for the first few days of use, it learns your schedule if you have one. After this step, you may never have to lay your fingers on it anymore. It takes care of all your temperature worries. 

Also, It feels so natural, you almost become oblivious of its work. You just know the temperature feels good.

It is also observant of more general info, like what the weather is like outside. Smart Thermostats combine both programmable and Wi-Fi thermometers in one. They are so modern, some of them are voice-automated. Thus, they are compatible with Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon’s Alexa. 

If you think smart thermostats are costly, you’re very right! Nothing this good is cheap. But then, there’s a brighter side. These thermostats prevent unnecessary energy consumption. 

Hence, they help you to cut down on utility and repair bills. Every cent you spend purchasing is not only worth your investment; it’ll come back to you in these savings.

Here are some other popular features of smart thermostats:

  • Geo-Fencing. The ability to track how far you are from home and how to adjust temperature changes. 
  • Filter-Change Reminder. Once your air conditioner begins to malfunction due to a faulty filter, it notifies you to change it.
  • Automatic changeover. Your smart thermostat can switch between heat and cool functions. It can do this because it stays in sync with the outside weather.
  • Energy reports. Not only does your smart thermostat help you conserve energy. It also shows you how much you’ve been consuming. This keeps you responsible and accountable. 
  • Auto-software updates. Many smart thermostats auto-update their software on the verge of becoming outdated.

What Type of Thermostat is Best For My Toronto Home?

If you’re wondering how to choose the right type of thermostat, here are some things to consider.

Where does your interest lie?

Some people have a craze for smart devices. If they don’t appeal to you, there’s nothing wrong with getting any of the other types.

What’s your budget?

This is one of the most important questions to ask yourself. You don’t need to break your back or inconvenience yourself to install a thermostat.

Do you have a routine?

If you have no definite schedule, there’d be nothing for a smart thermostat to learn. You shouldn’t spend so much only to under-employ it. In this case, the Wi-Fi thermostat offers great functionality!

Is your HVAC system compatible?

Most types of thermostats work on common HVAC systems. However, smart ones have preferences. Some, for instance, do not work on two-stage heat pump systems. Even if you have enough money to buy any type of thermostat, ensure you consider the HVAC in your Toronto home. 

What’s your home wiring like?

More modern thermostats usually need C-wires for display and Wi-Fi features. Confirming the presence or absence of these usually need professional consultation. 

Meanwhile, the older thermostats only need as low as two low-volt wires. If you ever need to install a thermostat in your Toronto home, have a technician check out your wires.

Buying a Thermostat: Some Popular Thermostat Brands

The following brands are giants in the market. Despite their market age, they’ve embraced change and remained relevant. They are listed below in no order:

  1. Nest
  2. Lux
  3. Venstar
  4. Schneider Electric
  5. Lennox
  6. Ecobee
  7. Emerson
  8. Honeywell
  9. Carrier
  10. LockState

How Do Thermostats Work?

Smart thermostats may be the best thermostats for your Toronto home. Nonetheless, they have the same working mechanisms as even the non-programmable ones. Here’s how they work:

In Physics, you learn that objects expand when they’re heated up, and they contract when cooled. It’s called thermal expansion. This is the working principle of all thermostats used to switch an electric circuit on or off.

This may inspire the question: 

What are these materials in thermostats that expand and contract? 

Here are the most common ones:

Bi-metallic strips

The traditional/standard thermostats have two strips of metal (usually steel and copper). These metal strips adhere to each other by welding or riveting. Think of them as the bridge between your thermostat and your HVAC. 

When the bridge is straight, it is up and running. Your room gets all warm and cozy. Once it gets too hot, one of these metallic strips expands more than the other. This bends the bridge until it loses connection to the rest of the circuit. 

Once heating stops, cooling begins. Again, the temperature cools down; the strip again straightens out. The connection is re-established, and the cycle goes on and on. You can set the temperature where the circuit switches on and off.

Metal Discs and Gas-filled bellows

Bi-metallic strips take a while to cool down or heat up. They’re not as sensitive as you sometimes need them to be. Metal discs with gas-filled bellows are alternatives that bypass this problem.

Each disc in the pair has a large surface area. This increases temperature sensitivity. These discs also have creases or ridges in them. These increase their flexibility. The gas bellow sits between these two discs. Like metals, gases also expand when contracted, and contract when cooled.

Once the room heats up, the gas expands and pushes the discs apart. This is what breaks the circuit here. Once it cools, the gas contracts, allowing the discs to form a pair again.

Conclusion

With thermostats, you secure ever-comfortable temperature conditions for your home. All types of thermostats are good. It all depends on your budget and your personal preferences. 

You should know that installing a thermostat in your Toronto home is not as easy as tying your shoes. Furthermore, you stand the risk of damaging a lot if you attempt self-service. You need professional help, and we’re the best around. If you ever need to install a thermostat in Toronto, contact us for expert help.