Buying Guide

Choosing the Best Thermostat Type for Your Home

Manual Thermostats

Manual Thermostats
  • Typically found in older homes 
  • Economical with simple controls 
  • Limited energy savings and comfort, but can work efficiently if you’re diligent about changing settings as the temperature changes

Programmable Thermostats

Programmable Thermostats
  • These digital thermostats adjust the temperature automatically throughout the day 
  • Save you as much as 33 percent on heating costs, and up to 15 percent to 25 percent on cooling 
  • Advanced models can switch back and forth between heating and air conditioning during seasonal transitions 
  • Easy-to-operate digital interface, with many mercury-free newer models 
  • Can be set to 7-day (daily individual programs), 5-2 day (work week vs. weekend programs), 5-1-1 (work week plus two different programs for Saturday and Sunday), 1-week (same week-long program) 


Tip: You can manually override the program’s schedule as needed with many programmable thermostats.

Smart/WiFi Thermostats

Smart/WiFi Thermostats
  • These digital thermostats improve energy efficiency 
  • WiFi thermostats, also known as smart thermostats, allow you to control the temperature from your computer, tablet or smartphone

Thermostat Compatibility

Identify if your home is fitted with 1 Stage, 2 Stage, Direct Line Voltage, 24mV, or Zone heating and cooling to determine which thermostat will be compatible. 


Your new thermostat will be clearly labeled with one of the following: 


  • Works with 1 Stage heat or cool: For use where you have separate heating and air conditioning units 
  • Works with 2 Stage or multi-stage heat or cool: For heating or cooling units that have a high and low speed 
  • Works with Direct Line Voltage: 110 or 240 direct current power source used in some older homes to power the thermostat
  • Works with 24mV: For use with a fireplace, floor, or wall furnace 
  • Zoned HVAC: Heating and/or cooling is individually controlled in different areas from the same HVAC system