Thermostats has been around for as long as there has been air conditioning, but the old mechanical models were notorious for being inaccurate and prone to break downs. If your home or office still has one of these old models, it’s probably time to think about upgrading to a modern touch screen thermostat. Not only does it look nicer, the digital controls allow for more precise adjustment of the room temperature. The screen shows the current temperature and humidity, which helps end arguments about how cold or hot the room should be. While you can choose the model you want, a thermostat is a complex device that needs to be installed by a technician.
The touch screen thermostat is the latest version of the programmable thermostat. The push buttons have been removed and replaced by a screen that responds to finger touches, just like the screen on a smartphone. The problem with the old mechanical thermostats is that there was only one temperature setting. A programmable thermostat allows you to set temperatures for different times of the day. Heating and cooling make up a large part of a building’s energy bill, so even a small change in the temperature can result in huge savings. Lowering the temperature at certain times when there are not many people around is one way to save money.
The large touch-sensitive screen on the front provides a wealth of information including the date, time, room temperature, humidity, and current state of the system. By adding an external thermometer, the screen can also show the outside conditions. The cheaper models have a monochrome screen while the more expensive models have a color screen. Almost all of the models have an adjustable backlight that makes it easy to read the screen in low light. To change the settings, simply press the large buttons on the screen to navigate through the various menus, just like you would operate a smartphone.
Besides the screen, there are a number of other features to look out for when choosing a touch screen thermostat. There should be a USB port for uploading temperature settings from a computer. Thermostats are simple enough that multi-lingual support is not necessity but it’s still a nice feature to have. Several models can track the number of hours since the filters were changed and warn you when they need to be changed again. Battery backup is essential if you want to keep your settings during a blackout. The touch screen may occasionally fail to detect finger touches, but that will never be a problem if the model also has buttons.
One of the main benefits of using a programmable thermostat is that you can set different temperatures for different times of the day. This allows you to tailor the heating and air conditioning to suit your routine. The majority of programmable thermostats can hold hourly temperature settings for a week or more. So if your home or office is mostly empty during certain periods, you can lower the temperature for them and save a bit of money on your energy bills. Temperature profiles can be added through the touch screen, but they can also be loaded from a computer using special software.
In most cases, a touch screen thermostat is fixed to the wall, but there are also a few wireless handheld models if you need to get one. There needs to be a receiver somewhere to pick up the signals send out by the wireless models. A portable model may sound convenient but there is always the risk of it being lost or stolen, and they are pretty expensive devices to replace. Unless you absolutely must have one, a fixed model would be the best choice in most cases.