Your Thermostat: When and Why You Should Upgrade It

Now that winter is fast approaching, your thermostat is going to be one of the most used appliances in your home. In fact, Salt Lake City is already under winter storm watch. You need it to keep your home at an optimal temperature. As such, it should always be in top condition. Components like the furnace unit and air conditioning are important because they're responsible for bringing in or counteracting heat in your home.

If your thermostat is faulty or unreliable, however, these components won't be able to operate properly. Know when you should replace your thermostat and the best upgrades for it. 


Significant Damage

Thermostats are often created with durability in mind. However, the elements can do a number on them. If your home gets flooded, the water can short circuit and corrode the electronics in the device. If someone accidentally strikes it, the control knobs and other mechanical parts could get messed up. If you have a rodent problem, they may also end up chewing through the thermostat's wiring and circuits and damage it beyond repair. 


Wrong Location

Your thermostat should be placed in a place that allows it to accurately read the temperature of the area. Even if it's working perfectly, it can provide the wrong readings if it's placed in the wrong area, like directly in front of the window.


The sun could end up warming up the sensors, causing it to provide less heating and cooling than what you set. If your thermostat is located next to a drafty area, the cold air may make it think that the room is colder than it is and cause the thermostat to activate the furnace to provide heating when you don't really need it. And if your thermostat is placed in a spot easily reached by children and pets, they may accidentally crank it up and cause your power bills to spike. 


HVAC System Upgrade

If you upgraded your furnace or air conditioning system, you may also need to get a more modern thermostat as well. This is because older thermostats may not be able to keep up with the energy efficiency of newer systems.


Your old thermostat's sensors may also get worn out, causing them to be inaccurate and inefficient. This is especially common on ancient thermostats that still use mercury to check the temperature. 


Your Upgrade Options

If you think your thermostat is due for an upgrade, it's best to do it immediately. You want to have a perfectly-functioning climate control system in time for winter. Here are the best options for an upgrade.

  • Non-programmable thermostat - This is the most basic and affordable type you can get. It can cost as low as $17 on Amazon's online shopping portal, depending on the brand and model you get. As its name suggests, you have to adjust the temperature on this thermostat manually. While this doesn't don't have the advanced features the other types have, its biggest benefit is its simplicity. Non-programmable thermostats often have knobs or an up and down button and a small screen. Nothing more. You can set the temperature and forget it. You'll be able to go about your day worry-free, knowing your home is at your preferred temperature at all times.
  • Programmable thermostat - If you want more precise control over your home's temperature, get a programmable thermostat. You can pre-program it to change temps during different times of the day. For example, you can schedule it to lower the temperature during the morning and afternoon to keep your home cool and increase the temp during the nighttime. You can also program your thermostat to turn off or operate at a lower capacity automatically on days when no one's at home.
  • Smart thermostat - If you want full customizability as well as efficiency from your thermostat, get one with smart home features. A smart thermostat integrates with smart home hubs like the Amazon Echo, Google Home Hub, Apple HomePod, Samsung Smart Hub, and more. It works just like a programmable thermostat.

You can schedule it to change the room's temperature during different times of the day. However, it also uses artificial intelligence to figure out when the house is likely occupied, so it can provide optimal cooling and heating during that time.


It also allows you to remotely manage and monitor your heating and cooling through your smartphone. If you forgot to turn it down, you can easily do so using your mobile device while on your way to work. On your way home? You can turn the temperature up before you even get to your house so you're greeted by a nice and toasty living room.


Your home's thermostat is one of the most important appliances this coming winter season. If it malfunctions, the rest of your heating and cooling system may end up malfunctioning, too. Use these recommendations to figure out when you should replace your thermostat and modern options to replace it with.

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